December 6th, 2009
04:40 PM ET
10 months ago

Obama gives pep talk to Senate Democrats on health care

President Obama came to Capitol Hill Sunday to meet with Senate Democrats.
President Obama came to Capitol Hill Sunday to meet with Senate Democrats.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama met Sunday with Senate Democrats to try to rally support for a sweeping health care bill undergoing a heated debate in the chamber.

The gathering with the Democratic caucus lasted about 50 minutes, with Obama encouraging passage of the health care bill without talking specifically about all the outstanding issues, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said afterward.

One of those major issues - abortion - will come up Monday when the chamber votes on an amendment to tighten restrictions on federal funding for abortion by adding language included in the House version of the bill.

Obama's visit came amid a rare Sunday session for the Senate as it considers the Democratic proposal that so far is unanimously opposed by Republicans.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama "thanked members of the Senate for their hard work so far and encouraged them to continue forward on this historic opportunity" to pass health care reform legislation.

"The question now is whether or not we're going to get it done," Obama told the senators, according to Burton.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Second Week of Advent- symbolic of Peace...Blessed be the peacemakers for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven

    This is what I don't get...no one is saying make abortion illegal...that is your right to go that route or not...but most are saying, including me, don't use Taxpayer monies to pay for the abortion....and Mr. President has openly said NO FEDERAL MONIES WOULD BE USED TO PAY FOR ABORTIONS with exception of rape and health crisis (life or death). So why oh why is it such a big deal to pass this without including any taxpayers money for abotions??? I think I can hint..people make money off of butchering babies...and they won't make a dime in pursauading population control through poor woman by convicing her that she shouldn't have the baby. It's all about the bucks and that in itself is sinful, and for this feminist is not at all liberating but continued oppression of woman...Go figure!

    December 6, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. www.twitter.com/whybs

    No GOP voted for debating ("debating" not voting for/against it) the Senate's version of the health care reform! If this is how the GOP define bipartisanship, let's sock it to them hard!

    The GOP is the same party that demonizes homosexuals, pontificates on religious/conservative values; and is filled with folks that touch themselves and work on 3rd/4th wife/mistress (e.g. Newt Gingrich)!

    December 6, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Kim

    Please get the bill pass with the public option. If you were going to oppose something... it should have been voting against a war based on a lie.

    December 6, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Kim

    Why is it always two or three bad seeds in the bunch?

    December 6, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. WIlly Brown

    Came in with knee pads on and the tax payers check book out he did yes sir.

    December 6, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Ryan

    You're absolutely insane if you think our current healthcare situation is worth preserving. They have record profits, when people go to the emergency room for things that aren't emergencies it's a clear sign they can't afford preventative care and the insurance companies raise your premiums to cover those costs (while making even MORE profit).

    Not to mention – pre-existing conditions?? What the hell kind of idea is that all about? Basically you pay and pay and pay... and the minute you get any type of cancer or diabetes or epilepsy or muscular dystrophy etc... they drop you like a hot potato!!

    Hello!?!? Only morons are against healthcare!!

    December 6, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    I hope the President gave more than a "PEP TALK". I hope he went in there and kicked some Democratic A$$. No reason to bother with Republicans Senators. They have their marching orders and they will not alter their course for anything.People are dying out here while they sit on their haunches and BS around. Get some work done congress or you will all be replaced in 2010 and SEnators, you guys are holding up over 100 bills now. start voting or we will replace you with Democrats and Republicans that will.

    December 6, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Chris

    Obama: "How much is it going to cost the taxpayer for your vote today?"

    The dems don't even need one Republican vote. So their ideas must be pretty poor if what they've been fighting for, for 50+ years, devides their own party. The dems talk about bipartisanship for political cover because if this was so great and wonderful they would be more than happy to pass it by themselves. This whole thing is a joke. Just like our government.

    December 6, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. m jeff

    The Republicans let the Insurance Companies run wild for eight years, my premiums have risen 250% in 3 years with no end in sight. We need REFORM now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Real Party Politics

    So, where is the non partisian gesture now Mr. President?

    Why is he meeting with Democrats ONLY?

    Why is he not working on this as a President, and not a Democrat?

    Maybe, just maybe, if he sat down with the Republican side of the fence, he could work some support from them. But instead, he kisses his own party ass. I hope this thing fails because the DEMOCRATS can not agree. I hope it fail because the DEMOCRATS can not get thier own people to support it.
    And when that happens,,,,then I want to see all of you tell me who is the party of no.

    December 6, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. B

    Rally? Pep talk?? This was nothing more than back-door, arm-twisting politics being done in the shadows. So much for Obama's transparency.

    December 6, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Black Viper

    My view is this so called Moderate Democrat (deguised republicans)opposing health care reform are either Stupid or lack of Political calculations.
    It's a loose loose situation for them.
    They don't vote for the bill including the public option the bill goes down they will face tough primaries in their state will surely be defeited by their opponents in the primaries or the Republican Opponent will win because they will loose the base democratic voters and their will be no enthousiasm for any democrat to go out and vote. Meaning 30% chance
    They vote for the bill they still have a chance to be reelected because the democratic base voters will support them vigourously and they will not face any primaries. It's a 50/50 chance
    It's called probability calculations. According to the political partisan tension no conservative will vote for someone with a D beside their name.

    December 6, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Jean

    All of us will have to answere for our actions and there will be no negotiations,no wiggle room. I have made some bad choices but I alone have to deal with it. So why would anyone want to make a choice for anyone else. Why would anyone want to tell a women what is on a list of choices are her only choices when it impacts her life. Your not going to answere for her in the end . She has the right to make her own decisions.

    December 6, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Albo58

    There's no telling how many bribes this "transparent" charlatan handed out during his little pep talk! He and his socialistic drones in the Senate are desperately trying to take over health care (read: Public Option!) and they are more than willing to chunk their own mothers under a bus to get it! Stop these thieves NOW!

    December 6, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    The only "sweeping" that will result from Obama's health care bill is of members of Congress who vote for it out of Congress.

    Only 41% of American voters support Obama's bill; 53% oppose it–it's political suicide to vote to impose this idiotic measure on us.

    (Not that the 41% number refers specifically to the Democrat's bill. A higher percentage want government to do something about health care, they just don't think wasting a trillion dollars of taxpayer money is the way to do it.)

    December 6, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Mickey

    Good for you, Mr. President.

    Now let's get this to a vote and cram it right down the Republicans pie hole.

    December 6, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Mark

    Our only hope of having healthcare reform now rest with the Democrats and the Democrats alone. They have to stand united and get this done....the country is depending on them. We all know the Republicans are worthless and are hoping for failure. Republicans have accomplished nothing.

    December 6, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. Kenda

    Republicans are worthless.

    December 6, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. DAVID

    Thought for the day: What has a Republican done for you? Thought so,....nothing.

    December 6, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. Jaxson

    Hopefully the Democrats will get this passed. Republicans are hoping for failure with alittle hatred thrown in if possible.

    December 6, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. Susan/Colorado

    Republicans will do nothing but whine, whine, and whine....it's become their way.

    December 6, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. bobbymagee

    I think the more proper statement would be: When we are going to get it done! No whether, if, shoulda, woulda, coulda, - WHEN WILL THE BILL BE PLACED ON THE PRESIDENT'S DESK!!!

    December 6, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. No Obamacare..........

    no socialized medicine......no socialism period......let's get back to American basics and the Constitution.......

    We'll fix it all in November. We just overshot things in the last election and this time we'll get it right. Dems should enjoy the next 9 months because the party is almost over and the socialist legislation will be overturned in 2010.

    December 6, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Nea

    All i want to see is a good bill it dont have to be perfect this is the problem we are looking for the bill to be perfect which it never will because you have imperfect people thats writing it i just PRAY to GOD that it will benefit eeveryone. So i wish the Republicans and Democrats will stop trying to look for a bill that will be perfect and please for the love of GOD stop being so critical of each other what difference does it makes what party passes the bill as long as it gets passed, if one party dont want to work with the other then its time to move on.

    December 6, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. Doug

    What a shame that the security details did not have the day off for this photo shoot. The President needs to find himself pretty soon doing anything that does not need a trillion dollar budget. It is disappointing that the first year has been a down slope with a celebrity focus.

    December 6, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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