WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- President Obama met with hand-picked Republican senators at a Jefferson Hotel dinner Wednesday night in an effort to find compromise on budget issues that could end the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequester that began earlier this month.

Leaving the meeting Arizona Republican Senator John McCain gave a thumbs up, calling the meeting fine, great and wonderful.

"The group was put together by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and the White House point of view is that they want to reach out and see if they can figure out a way to forge some compromises over some of these big issues facing the Obama administration and the congress," said Chicago Sun Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet.

The senate, as we all know, is controlled by Democrats but because of how things work, you still need Republicans in order to get anything passed.

"We know from Speaker (John) Boehner that on the very big issues out there from sequester to budget, and gun issues , he wants the legislation to start in the senate, so Obama is going to be meeting with the Republicans and Democrats from the House and the Senate next week. The dinner at the Jefferson Hotel is just a precursor to what the White House plans as a series of meetings with lawmakers," Sweet told WUSA9.

There has been criticism lately from Republicans that he isn't meeting with them.

"This helps address it, so if there is some compromise out there that could come of this outreach, the Obama Administration wants to try it. They don't expect any deals coming out of this Jefferson Hotel meeting with these senators but they think, maybe, they could plant seeds that could grow into something," Sweet said.

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