President Barack Obama invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Chris Van Hollen, the panel’s top Democrat, to lunch today as he seeks to restart talks on a long-term deal to reduce the federal deficit.
The 12:25 p.m. lunch in a private dining room of the executive mansion was listed on Obama’s official schedule released by the White House.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, said in a statement he hoped the lunch with Obama and Van Hollen, a Maryland representative, “is the beginning of a serious discussion of the challenges we face.”
The lunch today follows Obama’s dinner last night at a Washington hotel with a dozen Republican senators. The president invited them in an effort to resume talks aimed at a long-term deficit reduction accord.
Ryan said yesterday that he will present on March 12 a fiscal blueprint outlining how Republicans would eliminate a deficit projected to reach $978 billion in 2023 without increased taxes.
Obama says that any deficit reduction deal must be a balanced package that includes higher taxes.