It is time again for the Senate to get together for a bipartisan lunch.
Noted author Walter Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute, is set to speak with senators Wednesday afternoon, according to leadership aides. It follows a similar lunch in early February where senators heard from some of their colleagues new and old about their experiences.
The luncheon comes at the start of what looks to be a daunting work period, with issues from the budget to Iran to trade to education on an already packed calendar.
Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota and Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the expected next Democratic leader, are again spearheading the lunch effort. Sens. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., had floated the plan for the bipartisan gatherings.
The idea of the lunches is built on a bipartisan sentiment that senators need to spend more time getting to know each other, a throwback to a bygone era when senators were more likely to spend full weeks in the nation's capital and in many cases relocate their families here.
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