President Obama will host a dinner at the White House Wednesday evening ahead of his planned executive action to enact immigration reform on his own. White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the guest list would be exclusively Congressional Democrats who were “genuine supporters of common sense immigration reform.”
About 18 lawmakers were invited to the dinner, although it was soon announced that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would be unable to attend thanks to a prior commitment.
Earnest said the dinner wasn’t an effort to placate Democrats, but rather an event presenting the opportunity to discuss some of the details of Obama’s planned announcement. When asked why no Republicans were invited, Earnest suggested that it would be politically useless at this point.
“Sadly, if it were only dinner that was required to get Republicans to act in bipartisan fashion, we would have passed bipartisan compromise immigration reform legislation quite some time ago,” he said.