Bennet dines with Obama, Dem senators

WASHINGTON — Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., had dinner with President Barack Obama and 11 other Democratic senators Wednesday night.

The nearly two-hour dinner came on the heels of a defeat over gun control amendments in the Senate. A measure on background checks failed to pass, prompting the president to address the country and chastise lawmakers for blocking the reforms.

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” Obama said in an appearance from the White House Rose Garden, adding that the fight isn’t over.

The group ate at the Jefferson Hotel, just blocks from the White House, and discussed the economy, jobs and the middle class, according to a press pool report.

The president re-affirmed his commitment to reducing the deficit in a balanced way, discussed immigration reform and promised to push ahead on gun control reform, the report said. The senators and president also talked about the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.

The other Democratic politicians were Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Patty Murray of Washington, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Mark Warner of Virginia, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Ron Wyden of Oregon, according to the pool report.

Bennet spokesman Adam Bozzi confirmed that the Colorado Democrat was present at the dinner, but said the senators are not commenting on the event.

This is Bennet’s latest in a series of moves to the national stage.

He accepted the position of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman last year, after it was offered for a second time.

The post means Bennet is part of the Democratic leadership — a very partisan job — and in charge of fundraising and keeping a blue majority in the Senate.

Bennet is also part of the “Gang of 8,” a bipartisan group of senators working toward immigration reform. The senators unveiled their bill earlier this week.

But his recent work on Capitol Hill doesn’t mean Bennet is forgetting his constituents in the Centennial State.

Parts of the immigration bill are based on local problems and programs, according to Bozzi.

“It’s just another example of what he learns and hears in Colorado,” Bozzi said, and brings back to Washington.

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