Obama, female senators discuss issues over dinner

WASHINGTON, April 24 (UPI) -- The 20 female members of the U.S. Senate discussed the economy and other issues with President Obama over dinner at the White House, officials said.

"The president enjoyed continuing his discussion with the senators about a wide range of items on the agenda, including working together to find common ground on budget issues and new initiatives to grow our economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class," a White House statement on Tuesday's dinner said.


Among the issues discussed were immigration reform, reducing gun violence and expanding educational opportunities for children, the statement said.

"The president also reiterated his commitment to ensuring all resources remain available as a part of the ongoing investigation into the explosions in Boston last week and commended law enforcement efforts," the statement said.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said she told Obama in October that the bipartisan group -- 16 Democrats and four Republicans -- gets together regularly, ABC News reported.

"I told him about our quarterly dinners, and I said 'Mr. President, if you want to see bipartisanship in Washington, invite the women senators to help you get it done.' And he loved the idea and he plans to invite us to the White House," Gillibrand told ABC News in January.


The women and Obama discussed the issues over a meal that included Alaskan halibut and peach pie.

Obama has had similar dinners with Senate Republicans and Democrats as part of an effort by the White House to shore up communications with lawmakers.

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