President Barack Obama will break bread with Senate Republicans next month, building upon recent efforts to court lawmakers open to making a deal to reduce the deficit.
Obama will join about a dozen Republican members on April 10 for dinner, according to a White House aide, who asked for anonymity because the meeting hasn’t been announced.
Senator Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, was asked by the president to invite other members of his caucus to the meal. The group hasn’t picked a location.
The dinner -- which will be Obama’s second with Republicans in about a month -- comes as the president’s poll numbers are falling. He and Republicans didn’t avert across-the-board spending cuts that took effect March 1. In a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted March 7-10, 44 percent of Americans approved of Obama’s handling of the economy -- six points lower than in December 2012 after his re-election.
Earlier this month, the president traveled to Capitol Hill for meetings with the Democratic and Republican caucuses in both the House and Senate. Obama dined with a dozen Senate Republicans on March 6.
In the days following those meetings, Obama called Isakson “to say that he thought the first dinner was productive” and asked him if he would organize a second with Senate Republicans, said Isakson spokeswoman Joan Kirchner. The senator did not attend the first meeting.