WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden is hosting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for dinner on Wednesday.
The meeting between Biden and the Virginia Republican comes as the White House struggles to get Republican support for elements of the president's jobs bill. Cantor has been one of President Barack Obama's fiercest critics.
Obama has had little contact with Republican congressional leaders since introducing his jobs bill in September. He and Biden met Tuesday with top House Democrats and are scheduled to meet with Senate Democratic leadership at the White House on Wednesday.
The White House says the vice president's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and Cantor's wife, Diana, will also attend the dinner at Biden's residence.
"The Vice President and Congressman Cantor have developed a close relationship while working together over the past year," said a statement from Biden's office. "This dinner with their wives is a personal occasion."
Cantor "has a great respect for and built a friendship with Vice President Biden from their work together this year," an aide to the GOP leader said. "This social dinner is a continuation of that friendship with their wives. They've been trying to get together for some time."
The cordial relationship between Biden and Cantor is no secret in Washington. Amid some of the most partisan tensions during budget battles over the summer, Cantor took a moment to praise Biden for his overseeing of debt ceiling negotiations.
"I've been very impressed with the way he conducts his meetings -- he does like to talk," Cantor said in a meeting with reporters. "I guess we all do, otherwise we wouldn't be here."