Washington (CNN) - President Obama is breaking bread with senators next week, but in a surprise he will do it with Republicans - not his friends on the Democratic side of the aisle.
In what may be a rare moment of bipartisanship in this midterm election year, the president will go behind closed doors with senate Republicans on Tuesday at their weekly policy luncheon in the Capitol, according to a senior administration official and a top Republican aide.
Fresh off major victories on health care reform and the financial reform legislation, Obama requested the meeting with Republicans to try and jump-start his efforts to also revamp the immigration system and break the deadlock on climate change legislation.
It will be extremely difficult to find consensus on those issues but both sides are saying the right things in the days leading up to the lunch in order to at least give the air of bipartisanship.
"Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Policy Chairman John Thune agreed to host the President, and the Republican Conference welcomes his visit where they will have a wide-ranging discussion on the year ahead," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell.