Obama To Congress: Now Is Not The Time To “Slow Down”
In a quickly-scheduled event, President Barack Obama made a statement from the White House this afternoon, telling Congress it should not postpone passing health care legislation.
CQ Politics: "Obama made a hastily arranged afternoon appearance in the White House to prod Congress to finish work on a plan, but did not repeat his oft-stated demand that the House and Senate vote by the August recess ... Urging Congress to continue work that already has produced a bill in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and a draft plan in the House, Obama said, 'Now is not the time to slow down and now is certainly not the time to lose heart'" (Bettelheim, 7/17).
The Associated Press: "Obama, projecting confidence health care legislation will clear Congress, urged lawmakers strongly on Friday to write stiffer cost-cutting provisions into the bills taking shape slowly in the House and Senate. 'What we want to do is force the Congress to make sure that they are acting' on recommendations lawmakers receive to hold down Medicare and Medicaid spending, the president said, rather than allowing reports to sit unused on a shelf" (Espo, 7/17).
Reuters: "Obama took his case to the American public as his far-reaching plan to guarantee healthcare coverage to all faced obstacles over its more than $1 trillion price tag and growing questions about how to pay for it. 'In the past few weeks we have forged a level of consensus (on healthcare reform) never before seen in this country,' Obama said in an appearance at the White House (7/17).
Politico: "Obama was stern about his insistence that any legislation he signs must rein in health care costs a direct rebuttal to comments this week from Congressional Budget Director Doug Elmendorf that the House and Senate health committee bills could add to the federal deficit instead of reducing it.
'I've said that health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it, Obama said. 'Let me repeat: Health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it'" (Brown, 7/17).