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Obama looking to break stalemate over nation’s budget, debt

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WASHINGTON -

Cameras didn't catch Republican Congressman Paul Ryan at the White House, but they did spot his Democratic colleague Chris Van Hollen arriving for lunch. The meeting is part of President Obama's new strategy to break the gridlock in Washington. Wednesday night the President invited a dozen GOP Senators out for dinner, including Bob Corker.

The President is personally reaching out to Republicans after the White House and Congress failed to stop automatic budget cuts from taking effect.

Republican leaders haven't been on the President's invite list this week, but House Speaker John Boehner doesn't see it as a snub.

The White House insists reaching across the aisle has always been important to the President.

Next week the President plans to make two spate trips to Capitol Hill to sit down with lawmakers.

The White House says the President is also trying to find common ground with Republicans on other issues like immigration reform and curbing gun violence.

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