President Obama wants to eat out again with more of his newfound dinner companions, Senate Republicans.
“The president called me early last week and he said that his first meeting with 12 Republicans, he felt, had been productive in sharing common ideas and finding differences,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said yesterday on CNN. “And he wanted to reach out and meet with 12 more and asked if I would put together 12 Republicans to have dinner with him on April 10th and I’m in the process of doing that now.”
Republicans last enjoyed a three-hour private dinner with Obama at the Jefferson Hotel on March 6 — while their colleague, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), was staging a 13-hour talking filibuster of the John Brennan nomination over Obama’s domestic drone program.
Dining companions that night were Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John McCain (R-S.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). Coburn, Johanns, and Chambliss have previously said they’re not seeking re-election.
Apparently Obama wants to increase his guest list.
“Until I get everybody on, I’d rather release it all at one time, when we know everybody has accepted that’s coming. So I’m going to wait until the first of next week to do that,” Isakson said.
“There’s no set agenda and it’s open, including letting me pick whoever I wanted to invite to come to the dinner. I think the president’s experience coming to our conference about two weeks ago and the first dinner led him to believe there may be some areas where we’re not as far apart as we might have thought, like on reforms in terms of entitlements, things of that nature,” the senator continued.
“So I think the discussion primarily will revolve around spending, around revenues and around entitlements, which, after all, spending and our debt and deficit are our two biggest problems.”