White House officials attend Senate Dem lunch

Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for the White House budget office, said in a statement that Lew was briefing senators on "the president’s framework for long-term deficit reduction as well as the importance of its balanced, debt fail-safe trigger that would help ensure that policymakers make the tough decisions to reduce the deficit."

The debt trigger, which President Obama proposed in his April deficit-reduction speech, has gotten something of a mixed reaction from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Sen. Max Baucus, the Finance Committee chairman, is among those who have spoken positively about the idea, while Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the Budget Committee chairman, and others have implied the trigger does not go far enough in battling deficits.

This post was updated at 3:03 p.m.