By Mike Lillis - 07/29/13 04:09 PM EDT
President Obama will seek to rally House and Senate Democrats during Wednesday meetings to press forward on immigration, the economy and healthcare reform ahead of lawmakers’ long summer recess.
Although Obama has fixed his gaze on the economy in recent weeks, his plans to tackle a broader agenda heralds a coming push among Democrats to go after Republicans on those hot-button issues during Congress's five-week August vacation, which begins Friday.
"He's going to discuss our shared Democratic agenda to keep moving the country forward by growing the economy, rebuilding the middle class, implementing the Affordable Care Act and reforming our broken immigration system," a Democratic leadership aide said Monday in an email.
Obama's pep talks on Wednesday seem designed, at least in part, to invigorate Democrats as they head back to their districts to face their constituents on those issues.
Democratic leaders have long argued that they have the upper hand when it comes to those issues, and public polls, particularly on immigration reform, back up those claims.
But there remain fears among the party faithful that inevitable hiccups in implementing healthcare reform could haunt Democrats in 2014. And the longer the immigration debate lumbers on, the more difficult it will be to get a bill passed in the GOP-controlled House — a dynamic that threatens a chief priority of Obama's second term.
Obama is scheduled to meet with House Democrats Wednesday morning during their weekly Caucus meeting in the Capitol before moving across the building to address Senate Democrats later in the day.
The meetings also come as the president has slipped in the polls, with a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week finding him nearing his record low in approval.