Thursday, March 04, 2010

Obama does personal lobbying of House Democrats, insurance execs

The politics of presidential persuasion are well underway -- President Obama has added a string of meetings to his schedule today featuring key House Democrats in the health care debate.

And there are reports that Obama has invited more Democrats to a White House reception tonight, and the guest list just happens to include 10 members who voted against the House health care bill last year.

It's all part of the administration's efforts to get the House to adopt the Senate health care bill over the next few weeks, the first step toward final passage.

(UPDATE: In other lobbying news, Obama walked into a White House meeting between his health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius and insurance executives. He carried a letter from an Ohio woman "whose insurance will go up 40% next year," tweeted spokesman Robert Gibbs.)

At 1:30 p..m., Obama's guests are members of a House health care task force and chairs of various Democratic caucuses.

They include: Danny Davis, Ill,, of the Congressional Black Caucus; Raul Grijalva, Ariz., of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Mike Honda, Cal., of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; Dennis Kucinich, Ohio, of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Barbara Lee, Cal., of the Congressional Black Caucus; Nydia Velazquez, N.Y., of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; and Lynn Woolsey, Cal., of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Later, at 2:30 p.m., the leaders of the New Democrat Coalition come to the Oval Office.

Those members include Jason Altmire, Pa.; Melissa Bean, Illinois; Lois Capps, Cal.; Joseph Crowley, N.Y.; Ron Kind, Wis.; Allyson Schwartz, Pa.; and Adam Smith, Washington.

Altmire is one of the members who voted against the House bill last year.

Others who have been invited to the White House include Allen Boyd of Florida; Lincoln Davis of Tennessee; Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota; Frank Kratovil of Maryland; Betsey Markey of Colorado; Jim Matheson of Utah; Scott Murphy of New York; Health Shuler of North Carolina; and John Tanner, Tennessee.

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