President Obama will meet with 12 Republican senators next Wednesday, an effort at bipartisan outreach as he rolls out his budget proposal.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) has been tasked with building the guest list for the meal, and the location has not yet been set.
During Friday's press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama has been talking to those Rpeublicans he feels may be receptive to his budget proposal.
President is engaged in conversations with potential members of the
common-sense caucus, with Republicans who will at least entertain the
idea of dealing with our budget challenges in a balanced way," he said.
But Carney said "it's more a matter of coincidence than anything else" that Obama is dining with Republicans the same day he rolls out the budget. Carney added, however, that the president "looks forward to that discussion very much."
It's Obama's second bipartisan powwow since mid-March, when he sat down with a dozen Republican senators for a meal many attendees praised for its candor and sincerity.
This time, however, Obama may face pushback from the senators on his budget, to be released next week, which will call for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and corporations. In exchange for those increases, Obama plans to offer entitlement reform and Social Security cuts, but Republicans blasted the proposal when it was previewed on Friday.
Obama also recently told supporters at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that he wants to take back control of the House and return the Speakers' gavel to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), an assertion that's not likely to win him friends in the GOP.
And a dismal jobs report out on Friday will likely fuel criticism from Republicans that Obama isn't doing enough to help the economy, further complicating next week's outreach efforts.
--This piece was updated at 12:32 p.m. on April 6 to reflect Carney's comments.