Obama dines and talks issues with Senate Democrats

(AP) Obama dines and talks issues with Senate Democrats
By JOSH LEDERMAN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON
President Barack Obama is meeting with a group of Senate Democrats, discussing gun control, immigration and the budget over dinner at a hotel near the White House.

The dinner comes hours after the Senate voted against the major elements of Obama's gun control push. The biggest blow was a vote on expanding background checks, which was thwarted by Republicans along with a handful of rural-state Democrats.

The White House says Obama asked Sen. Patty Murray of Washington to arrange the dinner. Others expected to attend are Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Mark Warner of Virginia, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Chris Coons of Delaware, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

All the senators joining Obama for dinner voted for background checks.

Obama has hosted two similar dinners with Senate Republicans in recent months, part of an effort to improve relations with lawmakers in Congress.

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