Washington (CNN) - One GOP senator attending the president's health care summit Thursday has more history with Barack Obama than any other Republican who will be there. That senator is John McCain, Obama's rival for the presidency in 2008.
McCain was asked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to join Senate Republicans at the open-for-cameras health care meeting.
"He looks forward to sitting down in a bipartisan fashion and starting over," said McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan. McCain is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions ("HELP") Committee.
McConnell's office Tuesday announced the list of Republican senators who will be attending Thursday's summit. In making the announcement, McConnell once again criticized many aspects of Democrats' health care reform proposals.
"Americans don't know how else to say it: they're not interested in a reform that starts with the bills they've already rejected, bills that slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors' Medicare, raise a half-trillion in new taxes, and don't lower costs or premiums," McConnell said in a statement released Tuesday. "Republicans will attend this summit in good faith, and will continue to offer the types of ideas and step-by-step approach that Americans are actually calling for: legislation that brings down costs and increases access for Americans."
In addition to McCain and McConnell, the following GOP senators will also be attending Thursday's health care summit, according to McConnell's office:
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Arizona
Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee
Ranking Member Senate Finance Committee Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa,
Ranking Member Senate HELP Committee Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming,
HELP Committee Member Tom Coburn, M.D., R-Oklahoma,
Sen. John Barrasso, M.D., R-Wyoming