March 20th, 2010
02:03 PM ET
8 years ago

In unusual step, Obama heads to the hill Saturday


President Obama heads to Capitol Hill Saturday in a final push before the House votes on the latest version of the health care bill. (Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Obama plans to address the House Democratic caucus Saturday to make a final plea for the health care overhaul, a day ahead of an expected House vote.

Four Democratic officials familiar with the plans told CNN on Friday that the president will speak Saturday to the lawmakers. The pitch will be made on Capitol Hill, White House aides said. No further details were immediately available.

The House of Representatives is set to vote Sunday on a sweeping $875 billion reform plan that cleared the Senate in December, as well as another $65 billion in compromise changes to the measure.

If the Senate bill passes the House, Obama will sign it into law. If the package of changes is passed, it will be taken up by the Senate.

Democratic leaders are trying to round up the 216 necessary votes to pass the bill. According to CNN's latest count, 29 Democrats plan to vote against the legislation. Thirty-eight Democratic "no" votes are needed to kill the bill.

Multiple Democratic leadership sources told CNN that Democrats have over 200 "yes" votes, though it was not clear Friday night how close Democrats were to securing the votes they need.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    "It is not wrong to vote against what my constituents want but it is wrong to vote against my own conscience."

    A quote from republiklan Cao.

    The irony in that statement and how the Rabid Reich NAZI's in his purity party are acting against the "socialist" trying to bring health care access to 31 million working poor Americans, is actually comical.

    The difference between Cao and President Obama is Cao has lost 40% of his conservative contributions due to his prior Yes vote and President Obama is actually trying to help 31 million working poor Americans.

    Money before people, how very republiKKKan!

    March 20, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. jules sand-perkins

    "Deem and pass" has NO credibility.
    I have been in other countries, such as Greece, at election times and seen citizens laughing as election results were announced. I remember seeing such laughter in Chicago when I lived there.
    Do we have to have these shams at a federal level in the USA?
    To what has Obama brought us?

    March 20, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    Is he bringing his checkbook?

    March 20, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Jordan B. Hodgson

    The perspective element of this debate is, as always, the only thing that seperates a Yay from a Nay in the healthcare debate.

    People who have healthcare, have well-established company plans, and who have to pay a premium of $50 for a visit that will cost 34 million Americans $5,000.

    So please, before you say Yay or Nay to this debate, please analyze the situation deeper than just how it effects your life.

    After all the problem is not that their isnt a affordable health care coverage problem in the U.S.-in my opinion the problem is that those who have to pay a $50 co-pay say there is not a problem because they dont have a problem.

    So please, get over yourself and do what is best for your fellow human being.

    March 20, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Independent One

    God bless Mr. President...Do what is right even if it is not popular

    March 20, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Ben

    If the president has to resort to bribing and bullying to get this mockery of a bill passed, then how good can it really be? If you can't see the consequences of passing this thing, you're clueless. We need healthcare reform, we don't need this.

    March 20, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. WoW


    Thanks for making our great, strong, and prideful nation into a nation of people looking for handouts and laziness. This administration is making our strong nation a 3rd world country.

    March 20, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. CR

    Health care reform is long overdue.

    Good for Obama. He is doing what is in the best interest of American consumers. It's called leadership George.

    March 20, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    love Obama- Finally a real President

    March 20, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Hammerer

    Maybe Obama will explain his deal with Billy Tauzin and Phrma and share some of the kick back to the undecideds to buy their votes.

    March 20, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. FwdnotBkwd

    Shame on the feeble Democrats who lack the courage and foresight to support the President. They are appeasing no one and will gain no new supporters. Contrary to what they think, they WILL continue to be targeted by conservatives in the next election cycle, and also by legions of disenchanted constituents and colleagues.

    Furthermore, a "NO" simply means they are do nothing but ensuring our government remains idle for the next 2 1/2 years on a variety of important issues, such as climate change, the economy, education, etc.. Worse, they are emboldening and empowering Republicans and Tea Partyers–essentially handing them a silver platter in which to dictate America's fiscal and social policy for the next decade. Ladies and Gentlemen of the house, you won't be at this crossroads ever again. What side of history do you wan to be on?

    March 20, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Ben

    j – "Lead us into the best recovery this country has ever seen!"

    What are you smoking? Recovery? What recovery? What has Obama done to cause a recovery? The only thing he's done is spend us deeper into a hole we can't climb out of.

    March 20, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Ancient Texan

    George- 55% is the lowest number I've seen that's against this smelly corrupt piece of garbage legislation, most polls have it at 58% up to 70% AGAINST. But the fine folks representing us are so blinded by their need to switch America to a Socialist Regime, they don't care what the people want. We need reform, but not the demolition of the finest Healthcare system in the world, and replacing it with Socialized European style Medicine. All to cover 10% of the country that doesn't have it. Many prefer not to buy insurance because they are young, healthy, ten foot tall and bullet proof. Others are illegal aliens, and yes some in desparate need that can't buy. But destroying what we have and spending $ 1.2 trillion to replace with a sub-standard government run disaster isn't the answer.

    March 20, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Independent in NC

    The fact that he is only addressing the Democratic caucus and not the House as a whole speaks volumes to me. So much for a change from partisan politics. And before anyone says "the Repubs wouldn't listen/ it wouldn't matter," a true leader doesn't just blow off an entire group of people who don't agree with him. Showing that you are willing to present your case and willing to respond to questions is a huge step in the right direction.

    March 20, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. beevee

    We needed a hard working, and smart president like Mr. Obama during 2000-2008 and the country would have been much prosperous and gained the respect of other nations. I hope his healthcare reforms bill passes without any hitch inspite of the dogged opposition by the GOP.

    March 20, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Doraine Gordon

    Anybody who doesn't think our nation needs health care reform is just plain crazy. You people who are working and have good health insurance are very fortunate. But why can't you look at the people who don't have insurance and show some heart? You could lose your job and your insurance. I have several good friends who were on easy street a few years ago but you should see them now. They are losing their businesses and homes. This week I helped one of them move out of her 3200 square foot home of 20 years into a tract house. The tract house belongs to a friend who has agreed to let them live there rent free in exchange for them fixing it up. This couple is going to end up with no insurance. It is sad when you see people you know hit so hard by the bad economy. But it can happen to anyone. So all you folks who think you have it made, think again. It is very important for us to get health care reform. I just think the Republicans are horrible people for voting no on everything, especially something that is so very important to all of us.

    March 20, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Norman

    Hey George, I wonder where you get your facts? 50% of people oppose health care reform? Really now..

    March 20, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Gil Oberdas

    How nice to see movement by the president while the Party of NO continues its never ending No, No No No! These robotic, zombe like right wing religious nuts of the partyy of No have got to go!

    March 20, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Ken in PIsgah Forest

    By George, I think you have it backwards. Congress is supposed to lead and do the right thing, which may not be what the people want, but is in their best interest. Then they are supposed to tell us why they did what they did and if we like it, then we reelect them.

    Right now health care reform is not popular because liberal leaning people don't think it does enough and conservatives think it goes too far. There is no bill that will please the majority because neither conservatives nor liberals make up a majority, except maybe in their own minds. Most people are somewhere in between.

    Personally, I think Mitch McConnell had it right last year when he said if this thing passes,the American people will love it, and it will be the end of the Republican party for at least a generation.

    The Republicans had two choices. They could get on board with health care reform and take some of the credit, or they could defeat it and the American people would not get to experience how good this will be. Instead they will tell them what a bad thing they protected us from. I guess we know which choice they took.

    The Republicans will continue to call this something that it is not, such as a government takeover of healthcare or a budget buster. Anyone paying attention to the debate knows it is not the former and the CBO says it will help reduce the deficit. Of course, the Republicans will chide he CBO report because they never agree with the CBO except when it agrees with them.

    Also, George, the country is not on the verge of collapse. If anything, things are looking good. We are creating more jobs than we are losing, people are getting the confidence to spend more, and businesses are getting more profitable. The number of housing units available has decreased significantly, which means housing prices will stabilize. We have had a 'borrow and spend' mentality in Washington for 30 years, and unfortunately we did not pay down debt when we should have (Bush years) and now the government has to spend our way out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, but the recession is at least technically over and the stimulus spending should end in the next year or so, and maybe we can get taxes stuctured like they were in the 90's so we can actually pay down debt.

    March 20, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. Bobby In Atlanta

    The President is doing what the majority of America elected him and the US Congress to do. I hope it passes the House tomorrow and gets signed by the President. The Republican need to be held accountable for their obsruction now and their inaction during the Bush Administration. The Republican had no viable options for covering individuals without health insurance or all the other ills that plague the current system. The status quo is not working and is harming our people and our country. The Republicans have no solutions, the Republicans don't care about Americans, they only care about their own purses and wallets. Let's get this passed and move forward on all the other pressings issues this country is facing!

    March 20, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Stephen B.

    George get off it. That 50% number you quote is based on statistics taken from people with home phones ie. mostly old people. Mostly the missinformed. Why are you acting like this is the first and only president to negociate. Be honest you are like the other nay sayers who have never read any unbais data on this bill and are only concerned with politics.
    Face it as long as the educated stay strong the idiots and unwashed will never take the country back.

    March 20, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Gil Oberdas

    George, the latest poll has 46% supporting the president and what is right for all Americans rather than the 45% who don't!

    March 20, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Jordan

    I am not a Democratic voter. I am an independent.

    @George, so what if 50% of the country is against it. What about the other 50% who are for it? If it wasn't for the fear mongering tactics the republicans (r intentionally written in lower-case) have employed, a majority of Americans would be in favor of the bill. This is what republicans know best... obstructionism!!! It is funny how they consider other ideas inefficient and ineffective while they can't come up with anything to fix healthcare. The only good republican ideas were the healthcare exchanges and undercover patients for medicare (Sen. Coburn). Other than that, Republicans are just LOUD and EMPTY!!! That is why it is easy being on the offensive!!!

    March 20, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. johnrj08

    George– If "the people" actually knew what was in this bill and had not been subjected to a year-long, $2 million a day disinformation campaign waged by the insurance industry, there is no doubt in my mind that they would be demanding its passage. You comment is a filled with those same kinds of lies and your words reveal an ideological agenda which has little to do with the needs of your fellow Americans. The scare tactic you repeat here, that this bill will somehow put the country on the "verge of collapse" is grossly dishonest and totally inaccurate. This is deficit reduction bill. The biggest we've had in the last 15 years. It will also help prevent the deaths of more than 44,000 every year due to lack of coverage. The tax credits in this bill for small businesses will ensure that hundreds of thousands of them will be able to afford offering employees this invaluable benefit. In turn, those people will not be subjected to the terrible abuses of private insurers. Start using your head and stop thinking like a Republican.

    March 20, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. patricia c

    George ,where were you when Bush did this ? where were you when Bush lied us into Iraq and borrow billions of dollars that was from China,Mexico,Spain and other countries?

    Where were you when your neighbor for laid off from his job because a boss wanted more profit and he took that job to Mexico ?

    Where were you when your neighbors child got cancer and their insurance was dropped ?

    Where do you set on Sunday morning?

    We need health care reform. Senators/Congress has the best insurance that taxpayers money can buy. Give the taxpayer a few crumbs ,even the dogs set at their master's feet wanting for crumbs.

    Senators/Congress has the best perks in this country via the common taxpayer.Free trips anywhere in the world. Four star hotels and resorts ,4 star eatery's ,4 star gold courses to do deal on in congress/senate .Enough is Enough!

    March 20, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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