Obama Seeks "Courage" from Dennis Kucinich, Other Dems

Obama Kucinich
AP

At a health care rally in Strongsville, Ohio, today, President Obama was not the only one urging Congress to pass his health care reform package.

"Vote yes!" a man in the audience yelled.

"Did you hear that, Dennis?" Mr. Obama asked, urging the man to repeat himself.

"Vote yes!" the man yelled again.

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich is withholding support for the president's health care reform proposal because it is not liberal enough. Kucinich voted against the House health care bill last year.

The president today told Kucinich's constituents that he personally spoke with the congressman this morning about the need to pass the bill.


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"I said, you know, it's been such a long time since we made government on the side of ordinary working folks, that we did something for them," Mr. Obama recalled. "What they're looking for is some courage. They're waiting for us to act."

The fate of Mr. Obama's health care reform package currently sits in the hands of a few undecided House Democrats. Each has some specific reason for withholding their vote, as USA Today outlines in a look at six undecided Democrats.

The president and other Democratic leaders are giving those congressmen and their issues special attention. For instance, Mr. Obama earlier this month had a one-on-one meeting with undecided House Democrat Scott Murphy of New York, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post's Plum Line blog reports. The president reportedly asked Murphy, who voted against the House health care bill last year, what he needed in the health care package in order to support it.

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With just days before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to put the package up for a vote, however, not all of the White House's lobbying efforts seem to be working.

Mr. Obama met with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday to discuss their concerns with the bill's immigration provisions.

"Am I going to vote for the proposal as it is currently formulated? No," Gutierrez told Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times on Friday.

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