At the White House, talk turns to what comes next after health care
By Scott Wilson
As he works to wrap up a yearlong debate on health care, President Obama is looking to the next big things -- energy and financial reform.
The day's public schedule tells the story.
Obama will have lunch Tuesday with business leaders, a meeting described by White House officials as another outreach session that will range across subjects. It will likely focus, though, on the fate of the financial regulatory reform legislation that is now making its way through the Senate.
(That discussion will serve as a way into his post-lunch meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who holds lax financial regulation responsible for the speculation he says help exacerbate his country's severe debt problem. Obama will be able to tell Papandreou the subject just came up over lunch.)
A few hours later, Obama will bring in a bipartisan group of lawmakers to talk about cap-and-trade legislation, also treading water in the Senate.
Passing an energy bill and spurring green job growth occupy the upper ranks of Obama's agenda, and the meeting Tuesday is something of a brain-storming session on how to proceed in the weeks after Congress finishes with the health care bill.
"These are people with ideas on the issue," a White House official said. "And this is one of the next big things."
The day marks a brief respite from the impassioned health care end game, which Obama will take up again in earnest Wednesday when he travels to St. Louis to deliver his second sleeves-rolled-up speech of the week on the need for reform.
March 9, 2010; 10:47 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care
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