President Barack Obama hosted Republican senators at the White House Wednesday evening, with dinner conversation including the deficit, gun control and immigration.
A White House official characterized their discussion over steak and sautéed vegetables as constructive and wide ranging, including all three of the pressing issues at the top of the president’s agenda. Their dinner came on the same day that Obama unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget proposal and on the eve of a debate over gun legislation on the Senate floor.
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson compiled the invitations to the White House’s Old Family Dining Room, at Obama’s request. Among those on the list were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Arkansas’ John Boozman, Maine’s Susan Collins, Idaho’s Mike Crapo, Wyoming’s Michael Enzi, Nebraska’s Deb Fischer, Utah’s Orrin Hatch, Kansas’ Pat Roberts, Florida’s Marco Rubio, South Dakota’s John Thune and Mississippi’s Roger Wicker.