Good morning from WWR -
The end game on healthcare reform will dominate the agenda today. This afternoon, in the East Room, President Obama will tell the nation how he'll move this divisive issue - the legislative centerpiece of his young administration - into what the White House calls "the final stage."
This stage seems apparent. Democrats will use a parliamentary device known as "reconciliation" that would allow them to pass healthcare legislation with a simple majority vote in the Senate - 51 votes - rather than subjecting the bill to the 60-vote requirement to overcome a Republican filibuster. Republicans have attacked the idea, with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell saying it will wreak "havoc" on the democratic process. If the Democrats “jam” it through Congress, McConnell said, “it will be the issue in every single race in America this fall.” WWR: It'll be an issue in every race whether the Democrats pass it or not.
Meantime, Mr. Obama will try at least one final time to reach out. In a letter to Congressional leaders of both parties Tuesday, the President said he was open to exploring four specific Republican ideas on healthcare, which were raised by the GOP during last week's Blair House forum. Among them: increasing payments to doctors who treat Medicaid patients, greater use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and the use of "undercover patients" to root out waste and fraud.
Later, Obama meets with the National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Bobby Barrera, who will present the President with an award for his work on Advance Appropriations. The President will later meet with Commander of the American Legion Clarence Hill to discuss his veterans and wounded warrior policy agenda for the year.
In the evening, Obama hosts a reception for Members of Congress in the Blue Room to thank them for their efforts to restore statutory pay-as-you-go. WWR is pretty sure we won't be seeing Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning (who voted against PAYGO before touting its virtues during the debate over extending jobless benefits).
9:45AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
1:45PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks on health care reform
3:05PM THE PRESIDENT meets with National Commander of the
Disabled American Veterans Bobby Barrera
4:35PM THE PRESIDENT meets with American Legion Commander
5:30PM THE PRESIDENT hosts reception for Members of Congress to
thank them for their efforts to restore statutory pay-as-you-go
On This Day
1845: Congress overrode a presidential veto for the first time. After President John Tyler had vetoed a bill denying him the power to spend federal funds on revenue-cutter ships without Congress approval, lawmakers - with the necessary two-thirds vote - overrode Tyler, a parting gift to the president as he left office. Tyler used the presidential veto 10 times on a variety of legislation during his administration; the frequency of his use of the veto was second only to that of Andrew Jackson, who employed it 12 times during his tenure.
"As to the Presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it." - Martin Van Buren
What's YOUR question for the President?
E-mail WWR: firstname.lastname@example.org - it COULD be asked at the next White House news conference! And follow us on Twitter: WestWingReport!