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Obama invites congressional leaders to White House

Associated Press Associated Press 9/09/2016 By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press
U.S. President Barack Obama clasps his hands to bid farewell as he boards Air Force One at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, en route to Washington after attending the ASEAN Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) © The Associated Press U.S. President Barack Obama clasps his hands to bid farewell as he boards Air Force One at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, en route to Washington after attending the ASEAN Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

VIENTIANE, Laos — President Barack Obama has invited the four congressional leaders to meet with him next week, the White House said Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were invited to the White House for the Monday afternoon session. The White House said the purpose was to discuss its priorities for the remainder of the legislative session.

A key focus will be efforts to secure a short-term funding measure to prevent a government shutdown after money runs out at the end of the month. Obama's push to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership and funding to combat the Zika virus are also expected to be on the agenda.

Obama's engagement with Congress has become increasingly sparse as the end of his presidency approaches and the election encroaches on policy discussions in Washington. Still, the White House is holding out hope it can complete some unfinished business during the lame-duck session between Election Day and the end of the year.

Congress returned from its summer recess this week. Obama is returning to Washington Friday from a nine-day trip to Asia.

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