September 2nd, 2009
04:41 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama to address joint session of Congress next week

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will address the contentious issue of health-care reform in a speech before a joint session of Congress on September 9, multiple Democratic sources told CNN Wednesday.

"The president is considering ... laying out a more specific vision" of health-care reform, said one administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

So far, Obama has outlined broad principles for what he would like in health-care reform, but he has left most details to leaders in Congress. Now, White House aides say, the dynamic has changed.

"We're entering a new season," senior adviser David Axelrod said. "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done."

The new phase is being "driven in part by the actions of some in the GOP, including Senators Grassley and Enzi," the administration official noted.

The official added that the White House believes those actions indicate the two key Republicans - Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who have been part of a bipartisan group negotiating a health-care bill - "are essentially walking away from the table."

The official said that "now is the time to begin to pull together the various strands and solutions from the four bills that have been marked up and other proposals. ... Basically all the cards are on the table."

As momentum for health-care reform has slowed, Obama has come under growing pressure from liberal activists and leading congressional Democrats to provide more specifics.

"I think the president needs to step forward," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Tuesday. "Be more specific, more aggressively fight for a strong health-reform bill with a strong public option. I think he's going to do that."

Obama will host House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the White House next Tuesday afternoon to discuss the speech, two officials added.

The president called Reid on Wednesday morning to inform him about the speech, according to a Democratic leadership aide.

–CNN's Ted Barrett, Dana Bash, Ed Henry, Gloria Borger, Brianna Keilar, and Elaine Quijano contributed to this report

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. good job mr. Pres

    you are doing a good job, thank you

    September 2, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Wake Up

    Here's a preview:
    "lie, lie, exaggeration" then say something everyone can agree on...then use the word "folks" alot...then rip apart anyone who has a different opinion than his marxist views. Why does have have over 3 confirmed communists on his staff and part of his administration??? Van Jones is a confirmed Marxist!

    September 2, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Doug

    This is not funny anymore, please stop the politics. Reducing the state of the union and his polls to this horrible attempt to control the hill has made this almost meaningless. This is beyond sad. Yes, I helped him become president.

    September 2, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Dean

    Whoopeeee – The dumb talking to the idiots.

    September 2, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. For the Ignorant

    He has to again explain the reform to you idiots who don't understand it and can't read.

    September 2, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    Boring, how's about he shares the mike with some of his self admitted communist czars who work with him in the White House?

    Now stop it libs, it is not any republican calling men like Obama's Green Czar Van Jones a communist, he admitted that he is one, his own words. In fact Jones made a comment in 2005, and it would seem that his comment hits close to home for all those now working in the white house, even the commander in chief. Obama Green Czar Van Jones: "I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends." So moderates, this what you had in mind when you voted for hope and change?

    September 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Felly

    We need a comprehensive healthcare reform now with a public option, period.

    September 2, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Tez Anderson

    We all need to make our health care demands known to our members of congress all of them. Democrats need to remember why we elected them.

    September 2, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Eric

    This President needs to learn how to work behind a camera and not in front of it...if he has it in him.

    September 2, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Rick in OP

    Somebody needs to tell him that no one is interested in hearing him in prime television viewing time. His act got old about three of four prime time appearances ago.

    Read the results of the latest Zogby International polling from August 31, 2009:

    “Zogby: Obama Approval Plummets to 42 Percent
    President Barack Obama's job approval rating is down to 42%, with a decline in approval from Democrats the leading factor”.

    September 2, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    Sorry greedy health insurance company executives...

    We need is real leadership here, so let's hope that Obama listens to Pelosi more than to Reid.

    September 2, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. mother and sister of soldiers

    Three great minds that can destroy a country!

    September 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. gwen

    Come on Obama get these Dems – blue dogs and all- in line, we need health care reform with a public option!! Surely the dems get get this done!!!

    September 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. seebofubar

    Moe, Larry and Curly are going to have dinner, how nice. No doubt Moe will tell these two clowns that the public option is out. Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

    September 2, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Bluebonnet

    He should have done this to begin with! Of course, when dealing with stupid Reid and loud mouth Pelosi, what can we expect? Reform we undeniably need but the way it was initially approached – boo and he found that out in a big fat hurry! What a fool to think his so-called rock star status would just carry him on any and everything little ol thing he wanted. He hates to be questioned but maybe now he's seen the light!

    September 2, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Idiot_Pelosi

    "BO BO the clown" is going to do another tele-promted speech.


    September 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. c g

    At least he is more patriotic and cares for this country then most of these or politicians.

    September 2, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    Too bad....he is obviously keeping this political. I wonder if he'll invoke the "Do it for Teddy" phrase...... sorry, I'm not buying it.

    September 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Thanks for the advance notice. I'll reserve a movie from redbox.

    September 2, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. IndyVoter

    While I am always happy to hear what our President has to say, I wish someone would remind Congress and educate Americans that it is CONGRESS's responsibility to write the laws of the land…NOT the President. His role according to the constitution is to advise the Congress as to what the American people want but beyond that its Congress's job to do it. They are always screaming about the President having too much power and yelling that the Congress is CO-EQUAL with the President. But when it comes to the HARD WORK of creating controversial legislation, they try to push it off on the President to try to cover their butts. DO YOUR JOB CONGRESS and get a good health care bill done!!!

    September 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Lisa P

    Hooray! Time to get this health care reform roadblock unjammed and back on track! America deserves no less.

    September 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Frank in NJ

    Speech will go something like this: "blah blah blah blah blah".

    September 2, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. Melissa

    Pity I can't watch it, but it should be interesting. I hope he goes into detail to shut up the naysayers, but nothing will be enough since they're determined to hate anything he says anyway.

    September 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. j

    Enough of this " lets all just get along" crap and just do what the Repubs. do and bulldoze it thru and let the chips fall where they may. -----– If the Repubs had had their way there would be no social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.,etc, today millions of people rely on to just survive.

    September 2, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. VON BISMARK -Vienna

    I will like President Obama to make the challenge for the Republicans childishly simple:-

    1-Ask any middle class worker to show proof that his taxes have been raised.

    2-Call on the GOP House members and Senators to give up their own Government-run healthcare insurance as well as their pension.

    3-Call on them to renounce Medicare,Medicaid and the VA health bills as well SCHIP. Because all these government-run programs are all socialistic in nature.

    4-Denounce the Bush tax cuts for the rich because that is redistributing the wealth to the wealthy.

    September 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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