POLITICS
03/27/2013 04:46 pm ET

Obama, Republican Senators To Meet For Dinner Again In April

President Barack Obama will once again dine with Senate Republicans, Politico reported Wednesday.

The dinner will be held on April 10 at a yet to be determined location. Politico reports that Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) will invite 12 GOP Senators to dine with the president.

The April meal will be the president's second with GOP senators. Earlier this month, Obama treated a group of Republicans, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC.

"The president greatly enjoyed the dinner and had a good exchange of ideas with the senators," a White House official told the New York Times after the dinner.

The dinners are part of Obama's expanded efforts to reach across the aisle in hopes of ushering in an era of increased bipartisan cooperation. The president has also made several trips to Capitol Hill in hopes of bridging the partisan divide, attending caucus meetings with Republicans and Democrats in both chambers.

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein reports:

On a public relations level, it will likely placate those pundits who have bemoaned the president’s lack of “leadership,” his frosty relations with fellow lawmakers and his direct negotiation skills. In a more politically strategic sense, it could further open fissures within the GOP ranks. Several Republican lawmakers, for instance, have already expressed openness to the concept of a grand bargain on deficit reduction, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who said he’d be fine with $600 billion in new revenues in exchange for entitlement cuts.

“A bunch of them are out there saying the right things,” said the White House official. What Graham said, the official added, “is exactly what we are proposing. And ostensibly it is not unreasonable to think there are other Republicans who think the right thing too.”

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