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President Obama seeks to cozy up to Wisconsin fiscal hawks Ryan, Johnson


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - President Obama hopes to soften up two of Wisconsin’s fiscal hard-liners in Congress.

House Budget chairman Paul Ryan of Janesville and his committee’s ranking minority Democrat were having lunch with Obama at the White House Thursday.

Then Thursday night, Wisconsin Senate Republican Ron Johnson will be among 12 GOP senators dining with the Democratic president at the Jefferson Hotel in the nation’s capital.

Wednesday night, Obama dined with 12 other senators who are outside of their parties’ leadership.

The president is looking for some type of common ground on the impending budget standoff between the two parties. And he has reportedly been making pitches for tax increases that he and other Democrats have been trying to get in a compromise package of spending cuts.

Ryan met with the president not too long ago, but has not said what they talked about. He plans to submit a 2014 federal budget proposal next week that calls for tighter spending on entitlements, and converting Medicare to a lower-cost voucher program for those younger than 55.

Before lunch Thursday, Ryan said he hoped it would be the beginning of, “a serious discussion of the challenges we face.”