President Obama proclaimed the summer congressional session a critical time to move forward on healthcare reform before a meeting with 20 Democratic senators at the White House.
“This window between now and the August recess, I think, is going to be the make-or-break period,” Obama said. “This is the time where we have got to get this done.”
The president thanked Sens. Max BaucusMax BaucusChanging of the guard at DC’s top lobby firm GOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through MORE (D-Mont.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) for their efforts, and said he spoke with ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) earlier in the day.
Obama described Kennedy as “gung-ho” on the issue and eager to offer “a whole range of ideas.”
“He is very enthusiastic about our progress,” Obama said of Kennedy, who had been expected to be in Washington on Tuesday.
In his remarks before a closed-door meeting with the senators, the president said healthcare “is not a luxury,” but he also acknowledged that passing healthcare legislation “is going to be a heavy lift.”
“It's not something that I want to do because of campaign promises or politics,” Obama said. “This is a necessity. This is something that has to be done.”