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No invite from GOP for Sen. Gregg to attend healthcare summit

Senate Democratic leaders have tapped Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad to attend Thursday’s healthcare summit, but GOP leaders skipped over their ranking member on the panel.

Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the highest-ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, wasn’t on a list distributed Tuesday by Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE’s (R-Ky.) office. The White House had already invited senior members of both parties, but allowed both McConnell and Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBiden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms MORE (D-Nev.) to tap four more members of their choosing.

The White House’s exclusion of House or Senate budget-writers from its original Feb. 12 invitation raised some eyebrows, but Reid simply tapped Conrad (N.D.) as one of his four extra choices.

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McConnell instead tapped Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (Tenn.), ranking Finance Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee member John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West Five takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit MORE (R-Ariz.), and the Senate’s only two physicians — Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnNSF funding choice: Move forward or fall behind DHS establishes domestic terror unit within its intelligence office Wasteful 'Endless Frontiers Act' won't counter China's rising influence MORE (R-Okla.) and John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoJudge halts Biden pause on new public lands oil leasing GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' Biden land management pick faces GOP scrutiny over decades-old tree spiking case MORE (R-Wyo.).

GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziThe unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality Lummis adopts 'laser eyes' meme touting Bitcoin MORE (R-Wyo.) are also attending and were previously invited. Enzi is the ranking Republican on the HELP Committee, of which Coburn is also a member.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart had no immediate comment on Gregg’s exclusion, but did say that dozens of GOP senators had lobbied to be invited.

Asked about McConnell's choice not to invite him, Gregg declined to comment. “You'd have to ask Sen. McConnell,” he said.

Gregg himself had lobbied to be included, telling MSNBC in an interview shortly before the White House announced its invitations that both parties should "step back.”

The senator has had a rocky relationship with President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden raised key concerns with Putin, but may have overlooked others Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax Obama on Supreme Court ruling: 'The Affordable Care Act is here to stay' MORE in the past year, however, going from Obama’s one-time pick to lead the Commerce Department to one of the president’s harshest critics in the Senate.

Gregg’s office had no immediate comment on his exclusion from the summit.

McConnell released the following statement with his invitee list on Tuesday: “Americans don’t know how else to say it: They’re not interested in a reform that starts with the bills they’ve already rejected, bills that slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors’ Medicare, raise a half-trillion in new taxes, and don’t lower costs or premiums. Republicans will attend this summit in good faith, and will continue to offer the types of ideas and step-by-step approach that Americans are actually calling for: legislation that brings down costs and increases access for Americans.”

The Senate’s Democratic attendees to the summit include Reid, Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE (Ill.), Conference Vice Chairman Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (N.Y.), Conference Secretary Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPublic option fades with little outcry from progressives Senate GOP blocks bill to combat gender pay gap OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps MORE (Wash.), Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusCryptocurrency industry lobbies Washington for 'regulatory clarity' Bottom line Bottom line MORE (Mont.), Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (Conn.), HELP Committee Chairman Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinWe need a voting rights workaround Romney's TRUST Act is a Trojan Horse to cut seniors' benefits Two more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers MORE (Iowa), Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care Chairman Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerBottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease Lobbying World MORE (W.Va.) and Conrad.

The White House originally invited 21 members of Congress — 12 Democrats and nine Republicans — along with aides and representatives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional Budget Office, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusWorking for lasting change Former HHS secretary Sebelius joins marijuana industry group More than 200 Obama officials sign letter supporting Biden's stimulus plan MORE and Office of Health Reform Director Nancy DeParle.