House Liberals Ask for Obama Meeting

Posted September 10, 2009 at 3:04pm

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are asking for some face time with President Barack Obama as they continue to lobby for a strong public insurance option in a health care overhaul.

A day after Obama made a qualified case for the plan in a joint address to Congress, Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chairs of the liberal group, wrote Obama requesting a meeting “as soon as possible.—

The president made a strong argument for the public insurance option in his Wednesday night speech, though he hedged by saying it wasn’t central to reform and could be replaced by other approaches. In its wake, leading House liberals declared themselves largely satisfied, but the request for a sit-down with the president suggests they may want him to go further.

“We look forward to meeting with you to discuss the importance of your continued support for a robust public option in the final bill,— they wrote.

In an interview earlier Thursday, Woolsey suggested Obama’s speech put the burden back on liberals to win support for the plan. “He didn’t say it, but I heard it: Progressives, it’s up to you to define it and get it through your House,— she said. “It was not a step backwards. … We have a lot more work to do, and we know that.—