September 2nd, 2009
04:41 PM ET
5 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. Rob in NC

    It's About Time!!!!! Go get em Barack!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Nixon Grant

    Dancing in the streets; we are behind you Obama. Go get them, and let them know the that America people want reform and a Public Option.

    September 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. John Turner

    2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    September 2, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. S Callahan New York

    Why bother...it's over...and if you think it's not....reconsider....scrap it....it has to start over...there is no trust, it's unreasonable without any real compromise to anyone, anywhere ,on this -so it will fail.

    September 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Bpin

    Why? The guy should have found out by now that his golden words don;t mean a thing to Congress.

    September 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Independent For Obama

    I am glad our President is doing this. I hope this address is in prime time. I really doubt the hateful bigots that are always using federal funds will listen. What America has seen the past few weeks does not represent main stream America. We are much better than the people we have seen ranting and raving like lunatics. I can only hope the people that are against HRC never lose their health care because of a serious or terminal illness. I hope they never have to watch a loved one die from cancer because their health care policy is cancelled.

    September 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Jack in Florida

    Health care reform is needed and needed now. Barack MUST clearly articulate in plain english his plan, so that the right wing nut jobs cannot misintrepet them and spread false, wild and insane rumors.

    September 2, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. cspurgeon

    Get rid of pelosi and Reid and we might get someplace. They are not leaders and are bringing the President down. Lets get some fresh minds...

    September 2, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. T Mckinley

    Once our President tells the joint session of Congress, in plain and straight forward terms, that the government is NOT planning to "takeover" healthcare, the Republicans had better stop lying to the American people about this...OR ELSE!

    September 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. bern

    Good. Leaving this up to congress was a big mistake. If President Obama jumps fully, the know nothing, do nothing republicans and the unreformed dixiecrats who call themselves democrats will feel the real force of the American people. We need real health care reform which includes, at a minimum, a public option.

    September 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Jimmy the Greek

    Let me give everyone a preview:

    Blah blah blah , uhhhh ummm, blah blah blah, YES WE CAN!

    Translation: The "Public Option" is dead

    September 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. cedgar

    How much will the networks lose this time for carrying this speech?
    How will the ratings be?
    Maybe if low enough he get the point "we are tried of seeing you on TV"
    I for one will be busy since it is Wed.

    September 2, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Pepou

    YES. And he should have done it earlier to dispel all these stupid myths and lies which the GOP and right wingers are spreading.

    September 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Christina Wants Health Reform NOW

    I am delighted to know that President Obama will at last call the obstructionist bluffs of the GOP and some "Blue Dog" Dems...Mr. Obama has always had the unique gift of clear, direct communication that makes sense to the majority of Americans. I defy the extremists – particularly on the right – to call him Socialist, anti-American, etc to his face at this address. I eagerly anticipate hearing his message, and hope it brings this important debate back into some reasonable arena of focus.

    September 2, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. walleye

    Its about time that schools payed more attention to how our government is run. A civics lesson now and then never hurt anyone and just might make todays youth a little bit smarter. Too bad our people were so gullible when they listened to our former Pres. If they had done their homework we would not be in Iraq with 4000 of our finest dead over a lie. And if you still believe those stories about how going to Iraq made us safer, then I'll sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.

    September 2, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Proud Member..Party of No

    The conservative masses in this country have been mostly silent for years and years. It took this loser, marxist president to awaken the sleeping giant and awaken them he has. No more being silent. We, the people want our country back and the democrat politicians that stand by Obama will fall with him in the next elections.

    September 2, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Loup Garou 782

    obama ( the twelveth imiam ) all getting together at the White House th discuss the dest method of blowing smoke at a joint session of Congress on Sept 9th. No doubt he wants to get all huffy about Sept. 11, 2001, among other things on their agenda. Wake up people!!

    September 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Obama Victim

    what part of NO does this loser not get??

    September 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Jon in CA

    Another week – Another speech.

    Everyone has finally realized... Obama = poll-tested, teleprompter approved speeches.

    Instead of TALKING... try LISTENING to the American people!

    September 2, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Jac

    Wow, at lest it's not yet another campaign event stocked with cheering supporters masquerading as a 'town hall' meeting.

    Let's see if he sticks to his 'evil special interest' routine of bashing doctors and insurance companies...while making doubly sure the teleprompter doesn't have the words "TORT REFORM" anywhere on it's hard drive.

    September 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. lil

    What took you so long

    September 2, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Bj

    Reid and Pelosi, why not invite Bert and Ernie as well, then they could all have a good talk

    September 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. judy

    I guess the President still does not get the picture – drop the Healthcare bill since the country does not want it!!!

    September 2, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Obama Victim

    force it through Barry......dare ya..............you will be looking for work in '12

    September 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. ran

    Good. I hope he tells the GOP/profit insurance companies that their end is near and that universal non-profit health care is coming with or without their help.

    My health is not for profit.

    September 2, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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