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. ETM

    Let's get it done, Mr. President! For too long, the stupid people in this country have been wrecking havoc. It's time for a little enlightenment, and way past time for nationally guaranteed health insurance.

    September 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Renee' McDuffie

    Wake up research your history were did all of these marxist policy start. Long before President Obama can into office. A lot of you all are blowing off steam but you are racist prejuidce bigots. President Obama becoming President is not a Fluke. We are in last days, so, instead trying to create more problems we all need to be praying and asking God for forgiveness. We as a country is in trouble and you dumb ????? don't see it.

    September 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. BillX

    Government spending as a percentage of GDP is 45%. We are focusing upon reforming the wrong thing. The scary thing about this Marxist government takeover is that we have a man that hasn't run as much as a local fast food restaurant running the country.

    September 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    Liberal execuses are everywhere:

    1. The Liberals blame the GOP for blocking this proposed government takeover, yet The GOP don't have the votes to stop this in ANY house! I guess it's easier to blame the GOP than it is to blame the bill.

    2. The Liberals blame the Blue Dogs. The Blue Dogs are listening to the voices of their people (like the whole of Congress should). I guess it's easier to blame the Blue Dogs than it is to blame the bill.

    3. The Liberals are blaming the seniors for protesting in the townhalls. I guess it's easier to blame the seniors than it is to blame the bill.

    Have you liberals stopped to consider: Maybe its not the GOP, maybe its not the Blue Dogs, maybe its not the seniors but maybe its the bill? I doubt it, but keep blaming everyone else for your failures. You own the White House, the Senate AND the House and still can't get this done! Maybe its Bush's fault!

    September 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. ETM

    The new CNN poll just released today shows that support for health care reform is essentially the same as in June.
    The "death panel" kooks have not won the day. The President will.

    September 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Hammerer

    What more threats or more browbeating?
    The American people that will think for themselves know that everything Obama says is not true. Any thing that he says now is just a sales pitch and he is going to use all of the tricks to try to sell a bill that is just not what the majority wants.
    The answer is still no I'm not buying!

    September 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Jim

    The only Republican who is negotiating in good faith is Olympia Snowe. The goal of all the other Republicans has never been to solve the problem but to use it to get back into power. None of their arguments against changes to our health insurance actually add up.

    September 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. JamesR

    I agree with the Dutchman. Just get it done and the Republican's can do whatever they want to do. Make it a hybrid plan with public and private options, spend more on Medicare even if it means raising taxes and get on to other things!!!!

    September 2, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. Let the man do his J.O.B.

    I want health care. I need health care. I want my tax dollars spent on American issues, not on some fake war. We finally have a pres who is doing something for American Citizens. Let the man do his job! I wonder if he were white, would we even have this convo.

    September 2, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Paul

    Shouting others down and childish name calling are not political discourse but is seems the chosen method for some. Using terms like Socialist, Marxist, Nazi, telepromptor and Acorn sandwiched in between sedicious blather fed by Glen Beck and Rush expose the willful ignorance of those folks and it is that ignorance that has elected politicians who constantly work against the good of the people while doing everything they can for the corporations and the lobbyists.

    September 2, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. z

    the sad reallity is that the very people that are protesting against the public option are the recipient of the government funded medicaid/medicare benefits. they are scared that government will not be able to provide them enough, if any reform gets implemented.

    September 2, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Idiot_Pelosi

    YES WE CAN....
    Triple the DEFICIT
    Increase Taxes
    Still have PORK in our bills
    Support for Illegals
    Weaken National Security
    Ruin Healthcare

    CHANGE we need is coming in 2010, and 2012 when we vote the biggest idiots (Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Schummer, Frank) out of office.

    Gve me some Fiscal Responsible Moderats (DEM or REPUB) and we'll change it correctly, but not with "SNO-BAMA".

    September 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Hey, Von Bismark. The wealthiest 1% of all income tax filers in this courntry pay MORE aggregate dollars into the Treasury than the total paid by the bottom 95%, with the 4% in between the two accounting for about 20% of all receipts. Look it up. Half the people in this country pay no income taxes at all, and many of those get refunds, aka welfare in disguise. Taxes have consequences, and it would be good if Congress stopped viewing productive citizens as ATMs.

    September 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Deuce

    Ironic? Higher-Boltronic. Who are these guys??

    September 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. J.P.

    Look, Democrats...

    I get it... YOU want medical care. And I want you to have medical care, too.

    But where we differ is that you insist I pay for your share.

    Anyone want to pick up the cost of my dinner, clothing, transporation or housing? No? Then don't expect me to pick up the tab for your Motrin and lipo.

    September 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Republican for Obama

    We need the change and we need it now. Put it to vote, we are willing to lose the first round. Let us vote out anyone who votes against it in the 2010 election. Then have another vote.

    Round 1 to identify those against it. Vote them out. Round 2 to get it passed.

    We support you Obama, and will vote out those against you (exept in the backwards inbred portions of the country, which are the minority so no fear).

    September 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Wade we will be firing up the TATOO guns just for you. You ridiculous individual. You haven't a clue what oppression is .........

    September 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Matt

    Democrats are not the ones calling others "socialists", Wilson.

    September 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Steve (the real one)

    If it ain't in writing (plain english and not legalese or politispeak ) it means nothing! You won't spend a few thousand on a used car like that. Yet the liberals are willing to spend trillions based upon a speech or two! UNREAL!

    September 2, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Senators Grassley and Enzi are TRAITORS! No more bipartanship bargaining with them!!

    "...recent comments by two chief Senate Republican negotiators — Charles Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming — who have sharply criticized key elements of Democrats' health care plans even as they insisted that a workable bipartisan plan was possible.
    In an August fundraising letter, Grassley asked people for "support in helping me defeat Obama-care." He said Democratic-drafted bills would be "a pathway to a government takeover of the health care system."
    Enzi, in a radio address Saturday, said Democratic proposals would restrict medical choices and make the country's "finances sicker without saving you money." ..."

    September 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. kim portland, oregon

    and he BETTER be talking REAL healthcare reform, we arent interested in any of this co-op BS or some USELESS watered-down public option!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    if you wont give us single-payer, it better be a STRONG, legitimate public option. like EVERY SINGLE other industrialized nation has

    NO MORE BI-PARTISANSHIP!!!! you dont REASON with these republicans and traitorous "democrats", they are as out of control as a toddler throwing a tantrum, and we all know how successfully THOSE negotiations go!!!!!

    NO MORE BI-PARTISANSHIP!!!

    NO MORE REPUGS!!!

    NO MORE RIGHT-WING NUTJOB "ENTERTAINERS"!!!!!

    NO MORE LIES!!!!!!

    MAX BAUCUS MUST BE FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    So the "messiah" elected to save us....is going to get more involved?
    It's a start but BO needs to develop more of a backbone and deal directly with those Democrats who are holding things up.
    And what's this malarky about the Democrats needing to remember why "we" elected them. Barack Obama was elected because he wasn't Bush. Remember "change"? All BO campaigned on was "change" and he wasn't Bush.
    To quote a famous line..."Do you feel like you've been swindled?"

    September 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Voted4HealthCare

    The majority of Americans support health-care reforms with a compassionate public option that will improve competition and extend affordable coverage to those in need.

    Grassley and Enzi have proven they have No intention on voting for any health care by their immoral lies and greedy insurance interests. They should not be allowed to obstruct the process any longer in this misguided "Gang of 6."

    Congress and the president need to move forward with the moral representatives who understand the importance of this much-needed legislation for the American people. Godspeed President Obama.

    September 2, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Joshua College Station Texas

    Great. We're ready, President Obama.

    September 2, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Mike

    The loud minority shouts at town hall meetings, the silent majority votes at the ballot box. We know who our President is really speaking to because he doesn't have to shout.

    September 2, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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