On the eve of a primetime address to the Joint Session of Congress, President Obama met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Ried(D-NV). Acording to ABC’s Jake Tapper “sources tell ABC News that in his private meeting with Democratic congressional leaders this afternoon the key word was urgency.”
According to Tapper:
Both leaders told the president that despite the difficult rough and tumble of the legislative process in the last few weeks, they are optimistic that both the House and Senate can pass health care reform legislation.
What will be in the bill remains an open question, though after the meeting, Reid told reporters that “we’re going to do our very best to have a public option or something like a public option before we finish this work.”
President Obama had originally set an August deadline on healthcare legislation, but neither branch of Congress was able to pass any form of a bill. With his original deadline already in the past, Obama has scheduled a primetime address to lay out his plan for getting a bill passed. Of course, it makes PERFECT sense to schedule a plan to pass legislation in the month AFTER the deadline he previously laid out.
President Obama has spent a large amount of “political capital” to try to pass healthcare reform. The President knows he is losing the faith of the general public on the healthcare debate, and he knows the longer it goes on, the worse it will get. Rasmussen reports that 54% say that passing no bill at all is better than the bills currently going through congress. President Obama has decided his only option is to ram a bill down our throats.