Washington (CNN) - As President Obama holds face-to-face meetings and makes phone calls to House Democrats in a last ditch effort to gain enough support for passage of health care legislation, one fence-sitting lawmaker is refusing to answer a telephone call from the White House.
"If I have to talk to him, I'll talk to him," Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar said begrudgingly of a phone call his office received Wednesday from the White House. But Cuellar told reporters in the Capitol he has so far refused to return the call because he first wants to decide how he'll vote on the health care package. The Texas congressman also acknowledged that it was "White House staff" that placed the call, but he presumes the president wanted to speak to him.
"At the end of the day, when we take a vote, he's not going to be out there supporting me and running my elections," Cuellar said of Obama. "It's going to be up to me to run my election. And it's up to me to decide on my own that this is in the best interests of my district."
Cuellar, who is in his third term, voted in favor of the original House version of health care reform in November, but he has not announced his intentions this time.
UPDATE: 9:31 A.M. ET: In an interview on CNN, Cuellar said he still remains undecided on how he will vote for the bill Sunday but is leaning toward the 'yes' column.