Senators to attend bipartisan caucus meeting on Thursday

The Senate is slated to hold a bipartisan caucus meeting on Thursday, just weeks after nearly all senators attended a closed-door joint conference to end a showdown over executive branch nominees.

All 100 senators are invited to attend. According to the Senate schedule, the body will recess for a “bipartisan caucus meeting” after a cloture vote on the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.

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The informal gathering was hosted by Sens. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' Amateur theatrics: An insult to Africa Dem senator blocks push to tie 'gun ban' to spending bill MORE (R-Ga.), Roger WickerRoger WickerSenate votes to block USDA catfish inspections GOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' Senate Republicans ask Trump to soften his tone MORE (R-Miss.), Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenSenate fight brews over Afghan visas Senators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Overnight Defense: Pentagon denies troops on Syrian front lines | Senators push for more Afghan visas MORE (D-N.H.) and Mark PryorMark PryorEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood Ex-Sen. Landrieu joins law and lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.).

An aide said there was no special agenda for Thursday’s meeting, and it would take place in the Russell Senate Office Building rather than the old chamber. Senators will be provided with food from Isakson’s home state. A similar gathering was hosted last year before the August recess.

The move comes less than a month after the full body met in the Old Senate Chamber to hash out a compromise to allow a vote on a host of President Obama’s executive branch nominees in exchange for Democrats abandoning the “nuclear option,” which would have changed Senate rules.

Only two members missed the last meeting in July.

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Senate leaders shortly after last month’s meeting requesting that the leadership make the meetings a regular occurrence.

A Senate aide on background said the meeting was mainly social and intended to keep the lines of communication open.

A number of executive nominations have been allowed to proceed after last month’s agreement, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyThe Clean Water Rule: One year later How Congress got to yes on toxic chemical reform Overnight Energy: Labor rift opens over green mega-donor MORE and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

On Wednesday, senators voted to confirm Obama’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the first Senate-confirmed head for the agency in seven years. Senators voted to end debate with the bare minimum of 60 votes.

Republican Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators float bipartisan wildfire bill Overnight Energy: Lawmakers closing in on chemical safety deal GOP chair pushes Obama official on Arctic drilling plan MORE (Alaska) was lobbied hard on the Senate floor to change her vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ while Democratic leaders held the vote open for hours so Sen. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampThe Hill's 12:30 Report House Dems urge Senate panel to vote on Ex-Im Bank nominee Senate Dems frustrated over lack of action on Ex-Im Bank nominee MORE (D-N.D.) could fly back to Washington to cast the deciding vote.

— Bernie Becker contributed

This story was originally published at 7:46 a.m. and was last updated at 1:31 p.m.

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