Harris invites every female senator to dinner next week
Vice President Harris has invited every female senator to dinner at her residence at the Naval Observatory next week, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday.
The dinner will pick up on a tradition that was started by former Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). The dinners were hosted monthly and even moved to the White House on an occasion in 2013 when then-President Obama hosted the event. However, the dinners have dropped off in recent years. Mikulski retired in 2017 after five terms in the Senate.
Plans for the June 15 dinner were first reported by Politico.
The forum will provide an opportunity for the two dozen female senators from both parties to huddle with Harris at a time when the White House is pursuing a potential bipartisan agreement on infrastructure. It’s unclear currently whether all of the women will attend the dinner next Tuesday.
Harris, who is currently on her first foreign trip to Guatemala and Mexico, has also taken a leading role in the Biden administration’s efforts to safeguard and bolster voting rights. She is expected to engage with lawmakers on voting rights legislation, including the For the People Act, which was passed by the House earlier this year.
The dinner will be a rare bipartisan event in Washington at a time of partisan tensions. The group of 24 female senators is made up of 16 Democrats and eight Republicans.
President Biden has also brought back more regular bipartisan meetings at the White House on various legislative priorities. He has met twice with Republicans as part of infrastructure negotiations in recent weeks and hosted the “Big Four” congressional leaders of the House and Senate in May.
The dinner will take place while Biden is on his first foreign trip to Europe, during which he will meet with Group of Seven leaders, attend a NATO summit, meet with European leaders and have his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.