Obama later said that he isnt wed to any specific health care bills in the House or Senate. Instead, he said he is open to any ideas that promote the core goals of controlling costs, addressing insurance abuses and making insurance affordable. But he warned Republicans not to take his openness for granted.What I wont do ... is another year of partisan wrangling around these issues; another six or eight months or nine months' worth of hearings in every single committee in the House and Senate where theres a lot of posturing, Obama said.The president also dismissed McConnells examples of bipartisanship when the Minority Leader noted he and Obama both support offshore drilling and clean coal technology.Well of course he likes that. Thats part of the Republican agenda for energy, Obama said. Bipartisanship cant be that I agree to all the things that they believe in or want, and that they agree to none of the things I believe in or want Im willing to move off some of the preferences of my party in order to meet them halfway.Obama will meet with lawmakers from both parties again on Feb. 25, when he hosts a health care summit aimed at breaking the partisan logjam on health care reform.My hope is that this doesnt end up being political theater ... I want a substantive discussion, said the president. Lets establish some common facts. Lets establish what the issues are, what the problems are, and lets test out in front of the American people what ideas work and what ideas dont.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.