Obama to Lunch with Senate Democrats. All of Them.
By Michael A. Fletcher and Perry Bacon
President Obama will host the entire Senate Democratic caucus for lunch at the White House on Tuesday, in an effort to review the achievements of his first six months in office and build momentum for major initiatives whose fates are now in the hands of Congress.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president invited the caucus to discuss "what has been accomplished in the first six-and-a-half months of the administration, and to talk about our priorities," including the slowly recovering economy and proposals to revamp the health care system and encourage the use of renewable energy.
There may even be cake for dessert, seeing as Tuesday is the president's 48th birthday.
"Chuck E. Cheese was booked," Gibbs joked during the White House press briefing on Monday. But those fearing that the health-care debate will overshadow Obama's chance at celebration should not worry. The president got an early start on the festivities over the weekend at Camp David.
The meeting comes as Senate Democrats are growing increasingly weary of bipartisan health care reform negotiations being run by Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday said if the three Republicans and three Democrats on that committee who are negotiating can't reach an agreement by mid-September, Democrats are likely to end their attempts at getting broad GOP support for a bill.
And some Democrats have grumbled the president is not doing enough to back a government-run health insurance program, which some liberals view as an important step in any reform effort. Obama has said he backs such a public plan, but has not defined exactly what it should look like.
Obama administration officials are also likely to press the Senate to approve additional money for the "Cash for Clunkers" program. The House approved $2 billion to extend the program last week, but the Senate has not yet said what it will do, despite the program's popularity with auto dealers and some car buyers.
"The president will use it as an opportunity, as I am about to, to talk about the benefits of what that program has done," Gibbs said, adding: "It's good for dealers and auto manufacturers. You've seen Ford talk about their sales being up as a result of this program. It's good for our energy security and our environment."
Posted at 6:30 AM ET on Aug 4, 2009
Share This: Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Gibbs: Obama Won't Raise Middle-Class Taxes | Next: POTUS Events: Happy Birthday, Mr. President
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: visionbrkr | August 5, 2009 7:27 AM
Posted by: boski66 | August 5, 2009 1:56 AM
Posted by: afed27 | August 4, 2009 4:32 PM
Posted by: NeoConVeteran | August 4, 2009 1:50 PM
Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | August 4, 2009 12:38 PM
Posted by: georgejones5 | August 4, 2009 12:38 PM
Posted by: Gatsby10 | August 4, 2009 11:59 AM
Posted by: msur | August 4, 2009 11:18 AM
Posted by: kburnett1 | August 4, 2009 10:54 AM
Posted by: snickers141 | August 4, 2009 10:34 AM
Posted by: lgregory2 | August 4, 2009 10:33 AM
Posted by: lgregory2 | August 4, 2009 10:31 AM
Posted by: snickers141 | August 4, 2009 10:29 AM
Posted by: dkress1 | August 4, 2009 10:21 AM
Posted by: chrisbrown1 | August 4, 2009 10:16 AM
Posted by: MARKM2 | August 4, 2009 9:39 AM
Posted by: LKM2 | August 4, 2009 9:35 AM
Posted by: scrivener50 | August 4, 2009 8:21 AM
Posted by: WendyFry | August 4, 2009 8:18 AM
Posted by: onebythesea | August 4, 2009 8:10 AM
Posted by: start_loving | August 4, 2009 7:58 AM
Posted by: WRH51 | August 4, 2009 7:41 AM
Posted by: TexRancher | August 4, 2009 7:14 AM
Posted by: TexRancher | August 4, 2009 7:10 AM
Posted by: JohnAdams1 | August 4, 2009 7:08 AM