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Obama dining with Corker, other GOP senators

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WASHINGTON (AP/WRCB) - A restaurant near the White House is the scene of Wednesday night's dinner get-together involving President Barack Obama and a dozen Republican senators.     

The dinner will be followed up next week by a rare trip by Obama to Capitol Hill, where he'll meet with Senate Republicans next Thursday.

He's also planning a separate meeting with House Republicans.     

The outreach effort follows Washington's failure to avert the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that started going into effect Friday.     

A White House official says Obama first raised the idea of a dinner during a phone conversation earlier this week with one of the Republican senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

He asked Graham to put together the guest list, which includes Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.     

Members of the GOP leadership are being left out of the dinner.

They also weren't among the Republican lawmakers Obama started calling over the weekend.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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