President Barack Obama is continuing his charm offensive on Thursday with a lunch with House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan at the White House.
Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee from Wisconsin, has been drafting a plan to balance the budget within a decade ó a far more ambitious goal than his previous efforts ó and has been one of the presidentís sharpest critics.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the budget panel, will also attend.
The meals are part of an unprecedented ó for Obama ó outreach effort after several weeks aimed at pressuring the GOP on the sequester did not bear fruit and instead hit the presidentís own approval ratings. Obama has made a number of calls in recent days to Republicans and Democrats, including to Ryan, as he tries to find a way out of the sequester and advance other key pieces of his agenda, including immigration and guns. He will meet next week with both parties in both chambers separately at the Capitol.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.