President Barack Obama met with Senate Democrats on Wednesday to discuss their annual agenda and an upcoming deadline to extend a payroll tax cut.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president was talking to the lawmakers about the upcoming budget plan, the economy and efforts to extend the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year.
The president was accompanied to the meeting at Nationals Park by new White House chief of staff Jack Lew and top aides Pete Rouse and Rob Nabors. Obama held a similar meeting with House Democrats last month.
A White House official said the event was closed to the press because Obama was not delivering formal remarks and likened it to the private question-and-answer sessions Obama has held with Senate Democrats during their closed-door caucus lunches in the Capitol.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina also briefed Senate Democrats about the president's re-election campaign. The Democrats also invited billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has argued for tax law changes by noting that the current system lets him pay at a lower tax rate than his secretary. Obama has called for a "Buffett rule" that imposes a 30 percent tax rate on millionaires, no matter the source of their income.
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