WASHINGTON (AP/WJZ) — President Barack Obamawas in Baltimore for a meeting with Senate Democrats Thursday, but he also made time to talk to three local women about working families.

Obama arrived around 1 p.m. at the Baltimore Sun Port Covington facility and headed over to Charmington’s Cafe for lunch with four working women, including Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), to discuss his work-life balance proposals.

Obama talked to Charmington’s co-owner Amanda Rothschild, Howard County Public Schools nurse Mary Stein and health care accountant Morvika Jordan about how the government could support working families.

“We have to make sure that economy is benefiting everybody,” Obama said.

While they were inside, a crowd gathered in front of Parts & Labor at Howard and West 26th in hopes of a chance to catch a glimpse of the President.

“One of the biggest problems we have is that the are 43 million Americans who don’t get paid sick leave,” the president said. “That means that no matter how sick they are or how sick a family member is they may find themselves having to choose to buy groceries or pay the rent.”

After the lunch, Mikulski tweeted, “Hardworking families deserve to be rewarded for their work. If you work hard and play by rules, you deserve to get ahead, not just get by!”

Before he left for his meeting, the president complimented the restaurant’s food and headed outside to greet the crowd gathered in front.

READ: President Obama In Baltimore For Strategy Session

The meeting comes as the party grapples with its new status in the Senate minority after losing seats in the November elections.

Obama is vowing to work with both parties to try to make progress in his final two years in office. But so far, the Republican-controlled Congress has been taking up legislation he opposes. He’s issued five veto threats just a week into the new session.

House and Senate Republicans are holding their own party strategy meetings in Hershey, Pennsylvania, their first joint retreat in 10 years.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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