Obama presses House on energy bill

In addition to feverishly working the phones, President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden of the White House on Thursday to pressure House members to vote for his energy bill.

The bill, which Republicans have blasted as an enormous tax hike for consumers, will come down to "a close vote," Obama said, because of the "misinformation" surrounding the legislation.

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A rebuke from Congress would be Obama's first major failure in dealing with Congress since taking office, and it would come on one of the president's signature issues.

"I can't stress enough the importance of this vote," Obama said.

In defending the cost to consumers, Obama dismissed the increase as being the price of "a postage stamp" every day.

Obama said it is imperative to pass the bill to put the U.S. on track to lead the world in clean-energy production, wean the country off its dependence on foreign oil and create 21st-century jobs.

"Make no mistake: This is a jobs bill," the president said.

He added: "This legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy."

In a direct plea to undecided lawmakers, the president pressed them to pass the bill to move the country to a new clean-energy economy.

"We cannot be afraid of the future," he said. "We cannot be prisoners of the past."