WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has hosted dinners and lunches and visited Capitol Hill over three days in his outreach effort with Congress. Lawmakers say it will take putting the entire force of the White House operation behind opening lines of communication if the effort is to stand any chance of bearing fruit.

Follow-up is a task that many lawmakers say has not always been a top priority for the White House.

The Vermont independent who chairs the Senate's Veterans Affairs Committee, Bernie Sanders, calls the White House outreach "spotty."

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says the lack of contact is "an odd way to do business."

White House officials promise a shift in approach, a second-term strategy designed to capitalize on openings for bipartisan legislation.

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