Obama Meets With House Dems on Health Care

By Chris Good

President Obama has been busy today whipping the House's looming health care vote himself in a series of meetings with House Democrats.

The meetings have included progressives who have denounced the Senate bill, which has served as a basis for President Obama's own proposal, and members of the New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of moderate Democrats.

Two of the invited members voted against the House health care bill--Reps. Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)--but the voting calculus will be different for Obama's plan, with a strong chance that progressives won't support it.

The lawmakers included, as announced by the White House earlier today:

At 1:30 p.m.:
Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), of the Congressional Black Caucus
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), of the Congressional Black Caucus
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

At: 2:30 p.m., New Democrat Coalition members:
Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), Health Task Force Co-Chair
Representative Melissa Bean (D- IL), Vice-Chair & Whip
Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Health Task Force Co-Chair
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Chair
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Vice-Chair
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Vice-Chair, Health Task Force Co-Chair
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Vice-Chair

In a non-health-care-related visit, two other Democratic "no" votes from November's House vote were invited to this morning's Oval Office signing of the Travel Promotion Act: Reps. Mike Ross (AR), a leading Blue Dog health care negotiator, and Suzanne Kosmas (FL).

Thumbnail image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/obama-meets-with-house-dems-on-health-care/37060/