OBAMA: Courting lawmakers at White House

The White House has been a revolving door for lawmakers this week as President Obama is stepping up his push for healthcare reform.

Obama has been meeting with House and Senate members in groups and one-on-one at a time when many are pushing back against his signature domestic policy issue.

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On Friday, the president added an event to his schedule, afternoon remarks on the matter from the White House Diplomatic Room, after meeting separately with Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), a White House aide confirmed.

Earlier in the day, a busload of congressional freshmen arrived at the White House. The group met with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, but the president did drop by for a few minutes, an aide said.

The lawmakers did not speak with reporters after the meeting.

Even as the president has ramped up pressure on members, they have shown a willingness to push back, sometimes while still standing in the White House driveway.

On Thursday, Obama met with Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), two key votes the president needs to reach 60 votes on healthcare, before traveling to New York and New Jersey.

But after the meeting, the lawmakers expressed concerns about forcing the legislation through before the summer break. Snowe called the idea "overly ambitious."

White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One Thursday that despite that pushback the president still wants to see legislation passed out of the House and Senate in the coming days.

Earlier in the week, the president met with Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.).

Murkowski said after the meeting that the Republicans "raised a number of issues, including how quickly the Senate is moving on a health bill that would raise taxes on small businesses and modeling a new federal health plan on our broken Medicare system.”

Obama's full-court press began on Monday with a stern warning to his critics: “Don’t bet against us.”

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