Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined eleven of his fellow GOP senators Wednesday for dinner with President Obama, reports the Hill.
There was some doubt as to whether or not Rubio would be able to make it to the dinner.
Rubio’s office said meetings on the immigration issue might keep him from going, but later said he would indeed attend.
This was Obama’s second meeting with Senate Republicans in as many months.
The March gathering, while not breaking any new ground policy-wise, did ease existing tensions somewhat and created an overall feeling of cautious optimism that a deal on reducing the deficit could be struck.
The dozen senators dined with Obama just hours after the president released a $3.8 trillion fiscal 2014 budget proposal. Republican leaders criticized the spending plan for relying too much on raising tax revenue, even though it also includes steps to reduce outlays for entitlements that are designed to spur a new round of deficit-reduction talks.
“It’s an open agenda, but I think it will be a lot about finances, about the debt, about the deficit, about spending, about tax reform on the corporate side, and I hope it’s the predicate for another meeting,” Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television before the dinner. Isakson organized the dinner at Obama’s request.
Neither the White House nor Isakson released a list of the invitees. Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Boozman of Arkansas and Susan Collins of Maine said they would be attending. The offices of Senators Mike Crapo of Idaho, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Marco Rubio of Florida, John Thune of South Dakota, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi confirmed they were going to the dinner.
Information from Bloomberg News Service was used in this report.
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