(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is spending a lot of time lately with Republicans in an effort to get the ball rolling on budget negotiations.
Just hours after he took 12 GOP senators out to dinner at the posh Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C., the president has invited Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Committee, to lunch Thursday at the White House, a senior administration official tells ABC News. The Republican congressman from Wisconsin is set to unveil the official Republican budget next week.
Also joining Obama and Ryan for lunch on Thursday will be Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
The president has already requested separate meetings next week with all House and Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, according to officials. The request was submitted by White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.
The Senate meeting, which will take place on Thursday, March 14, will be the first time Obama has attended a Republican Policy Lunch in nearly three years.
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Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Tom Kludt and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com