Following Obama's back-to-school speech on Sept. 8, Obama will speak to Congress about health reform (at 8 pm eastern) on Sept. 9, lawmakers' first day back to work since summer recess. The speech will be broadcast in prime time on our TVs. Perhaps, he can finally get Congress back on track, instead of carping and griping and whining and futzing around:
Obama will receive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the White House the day before for a previously scheduled sit-down.Here's Axelrod, who says the public options is a means to choice and competition, but doesn't answer whether it's THE means:
The last time a president addressed a joint session of Congress that wasn’t a State of the Union, or the traditional first address by a new president, was Sept. 20, 2001, when President George W. Bush spoke on the war on terrorism following the 9/11 attacks.
After plans for the session had been reported, Reid and Pelosi released a letter of invitation to the president: "Our nation is closer than ever to achieving health insurance reform that will lower costs, retain choice, improve quality and expand coverage. We are committed to reaching this goal. We would like to invite you to address a Joint Session of the Congress on Wednesday, September 9 on health insurance reform. Thank you for considering this invitation to speak to the Congress and the nation." Politico
And an update from Politico:
An Obama administration official confirmed that the White House is in the midst of intense discussions with moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who would be a key vote on health care reform.
The talks are focusing on a scaled-back bill that would not include a full public option but would have some of the insurance reforms Obama has highlighted in recent weeks.
The WH official made a point to note that the discussions are "the continuation of conversations that have been going for months."