Obama to host women of the Senate for dinner on Tuesday

WASHINGTON, April 22 Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:06pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has invited the 20 women elected to the U.S. Senate for dinner at the White House on Tuesday, another chapter in his effort to develop closer ties with Congress.

Since March, Obama has taken pains to reach out to lawmakers, trying to find common ground to end a two-year fight over federal deficits, and moving forward on top legislative priorities such as immigration reform.

Obama has held two dinners with small groups of Republican senators and one with Democratic senators.

He also traveled to Capitol Hill in March to meet with Democratic and Republican caucuses in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Tuesday's dinner will be the first bipartisan get-together. The White House did not give details on how many senators would attend.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said on Twitter that Obama had invited all women in the Senate. Senator Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, confirmed the bipartisan invitation to Reuters.

November's election resulted in a record number of women in the Senate - a total of 16 Democrats and four Republicans.

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