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Obama to dine with Republicans to discuss budget crisis

  • U.S. President Barack Obama launched a renewed effort to end a long-running budget deadlock with Republicans on Wednesday.

    According to senior Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Obama will attend the Republican Party's weekly policy lunch in Washington due to take place later today.

    Meanwhile, Obama himself has invited a group of Republican senators for dinner in a bid to push through the negotiations, the White House said on Wednesday.

    Republican leaders, with whom the budget talks have stalled in recent weeks, were not invited.

    The impasse over taxes and spending triggered $85 billion in budget cuts last Friday.

    Obama blamed the stalemate on the Republicans' refusal to allow any tax rises.

    The cuts, known as the sequester, were designed in 2011 to further negotiations on the deficit. 

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