President Obama will join Senate Republicans for lunch next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office announced today. Here’s the full statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday that Senate Republicans will host President Obama at their lunch meeting on Thursday, March 14 in the Capitol. The President requested the meeting through his chief of staff Tuesday.
“Senate Republicans welcome the President to the Capitol. And I appreciate he took my recommendation to hear from all of my members,” Sen. McConnell said. “We promised the American people that we would cut Washington spending, and the President signed those cuts into law. We have numerous challenges facing the country and Republicans have offered the President serious solutions to shrink Washington spending and grow the economy. And we will have an opportunity to discuss them with the President at the lunch.”
According to McConnell’s office, Obama last went to a Senate Republican lunch in May 2010, the Weekly Standard reports. Next week’s meeting was scheduled by the president’s office.
President Obama is also supposed to meet with House Republicans, but that appointment hasn’t been scheduled yet, Politico reports, citing House Speaker John Boehner’s office.
Obama has been criticized for not reaching out to Republicans enough, during both the debt ceiling fight in January and last month’s sequester battle.
UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: President Obama is also schedule to have dinner with Senate Republicans tonight at the Jefferson Hotel, according to the White House.