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. Cynthia

    All you uneducated clowns that's always making comments about the President using a teleprompter, I didn't hear so much about the prompter when stupid W, or even when Clinton was in office. President Obama is a very intellengent man and you morons make these comments because it threathens you, what a bunch of losers. Think about it, W read from the prompter and he still messed up his speeches. LOL

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

    It is too bad the people on the right do not see healthcare reform as something more important than a poltical football. I guess they were tired of kicking the global warming denial football around. I wager the next football will be immigration where the right will argue that we should simply find and deport all 20 million illegals without charging the taxpayer a dime in doing so. Do you know how many bus trips it takes to move 20 million people?

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

    I guess President Obama has to convey the message to Congress since it does not get what the American people want. THE PEOPLE WANT CHANGE IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, THE ECONOMY AND THE COUNTRY!!

    September 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. bozo the obama

    i don't care about the 9th, what matters is Sept. 8th , the Day of Indotrination of our young school children by obama and the teachers union..this has been a well thought out plan. BE AFRAID AMERICA.

    September 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. No-good-very-bad-job-Mr. President

    No matter what President Obama has to say to us about Health Care Reform.... We don't like his RUSH to PUSH this THING that some are calling Health Care Reform. We will NOT forget the push and the rush, and the fact that the only people who read it, are the ones who wrote it. It is such a confusing mass of mess, that we get it. We see
    what your administration is capable of doing. We do not trust you or them, now or ever.

    I wish that we did. President Obama is our President after all, I just
    really wish that he had not gotten elected. We were warned.. but so
    many of you voted for him. I wish you could take it back.

    Until then. Pray for our Country

    September 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Carol

    The republicans have always been good at branding and coming out first. However, it's the finish that counts, and a healthcare plan will be passed whether they want to work together with this administration or not.

    For years, over 100 now, there has been a call for healthcare reform. Now that Obama has set a goal (something sorely lacking the previous 8 years, goals) the republicans are screaming how it's being rammed down their throats.

    100 years of procrastination isn't long enough for you?

    September 2, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Craig

    Why don't you listen to the speech and learn how a real leader leads.. He is listening and will now articulate a plan to reform a healthcare system that badly needs it. People that resort to name calling just have nothing to offer a discussion.... Think about it...

    September 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Mississippi Mike

    Say whatever he wants, both chambers of congress want to get re-elected and this crappy health care bill is electoral poison.

    September 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Legna

    I will be playing solitare while talking on my cell phone.

    September 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. teaedoff

    Thank goodness another speech I was getting worried something happen to the teleprompter.

    September 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I say leave republicans out of the negotiations. They haven't contributed nything to the debate except lies and misinformation. When reform does come around, watch how many of them are going to try and jump on the bandwagon like when Medicare was passed. Republicans are a bunch of hypocrites!

    September 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Vincent Petrosino

    THANK GOD! The past month has been strewn with lies, misinformation and betrayals. The GOP will not back us! Too much corporate money involved. The Blue Dogs are just as conservative, selfish and hypocritical as the GOP. Here is what I KNOW from personally experience: I have been turned down FIVE times for insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition and that includes TWICE by AARP. Every time an uninsured person is rushed to ER and gets medical attention, I pay for it. Medicare is government run and it works very well for me. Keep it funded. We are screwing younger generations out of health care because we Baby Boomers are numerous and getting old. Morally, I am my brother and my sister's keeper because Christians know the New Testament says: If you do this for the least of your brethren, you do it for ME."

    September 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Barack da Rock

    Keep it up Obama. You still got people at your back. Reform needs to happen.

    September 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Wade

    This is where he will blame everything on the Republicans and the past administration.
    The speech is old and no longer valid.
    The Republicans don't hold enough seats to stop any legislation, so try another excuse.
    How about the truth?
    America doesn't believe you and the MAJORITY don't want to be a prisoner to a government run health care system.

    Waiting for my number to be tattooed on me by the government so they can "keep me healthy and safe".
    Oh wait.. this is the 21st century... no tattoos, just a micro chip in your arm linked to a national databases the feds can track you.

    September 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Michael Hsu

    "Health care reform is the opiate of the masses" – Obama

    September 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. kas

    The best week of the Obama presidency was the week he spent out on the Vineyard. He should consider doing that permanently.

    September 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Mike P

    The Republicans calling Obama a socialist are hypocrites. If they're so against socialism, give up their own healthcare, quit and go work in the private sector. There's quite a few "socialist" benefits and programs that republicans have/voted for.. please do we have to bring up Bush?

    September 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Illinois 2

    Mr. Obama needs to set back, take a deep breath and really look at the important parts that need fixed and just do that plus, start a regulation of the insurance industry as well as the drug industry.

    We are all paying too much for health care and medicines mainly because of all those without insurance and the GREED in those two industries...

    September 2, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Johnny DC

    Why do all you Liberal comment-posting morons think this is a good thing - that this will surely end the debate once and for all?

    This is a terrible thing for you. Every time Obama goes back to the "speech" well, it gets a little bit shallower.

    Polls show that the majority (ie: more than just GOP) are tired of seeing and hearing Obama on TV every five minutes. Having to go back to that dance again is going to be detrimental to his ratings. He can either (A) apologize for the health care mess he's created with poor leadership, or (B) blame the GOP even more, which hasn't been working to sustain his numbers for the past 3 months.

    He, and you, are screwed.

    September 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. WILSON

    Why do the Dems always resort to namecalling when things are not going as they wish ?. Why all the hatred ?. Does 2010 and beyond scare you? It should

    September 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. All the news thats fit to omit

    The coward in chief blaming some boogeyman in the Saul Alinsky way of snicker, snicker "governing".

    You can PASS whatever you want Barry, but you don't have the guts to call out the smart wing of your party that doesn't want this mess.

    This isn't about race or politics, ALL OF US WANT REFORM, but real simple even for you Barry, you don't tear down the whole HOUSE to fix a leak in the basement.

    Start with tort reform, allowing US to buy insurance across state line which will open up comprtition from state to state and company to company, now you as a Marxist have no idea how that works, we call it capitalism in this country.

    September 2, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. a progressive liberal and proud of it

    I'm so proud of President Obama for hanging in there in spite of all the hatred from the right . . . . still working so hard to better this country for all of us!

    September 2, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    I would like him to specifically address where the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals needed to service 40+ million new insureds are going to come from. Unless the ranks of healthcare professionals is significantly increased, demand will far exceed capacity which will lead to rationing. Also, where is the $1,000,000,000,000 going to come from? Eliminating fraud and abuse in Medicare/Medicaid is insignificant against a trillion dollars.

    September 2, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. cgillette369

    reading more speeches off a teleprompter written by his boss DAVID AXELROD who is the actual president of USA.

    September 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Steph

    Good. All the adults need to begin to work in good faith on an issue that is so important to every American.

    September 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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