...now (and yet again) it's up to the Republicans to answer it. This from Politico.com:
President Barack Obama told Katie Couric during a Super Bowl pregame interview that he plans to hold a health-reform summit with congressional leaders later this month. “I want to come back [after the Presidents’ Day congressional recess] and have a large meeting -- Republicans and Democrats -- to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there, and move it forward," Obama said.
And this from the Washington Post:
President Obama made a dramatic attempt to jump-start the stalled health care debate Sunday, inviting Republicans in Congress to a half-day summit on the subject to be televised live later this month.
The president made the offer in an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric just hours before the Superbowl. Obama challenged Republicans to come to the discussion armed with their best ideas for how to cover more Americans and fix the health insurance system.
"I want to consult closely with our Republican colleagues," Obama told Couric. "What I want to do is to ask them to put their ideas on the table... I want to come back and have a large meeting, Republicans and Democrats to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward."
The invitation to join him later this month follows comments he made on Thursday during a speech at a Democratic fundraiser in which he said he wanted to sit with Republicans and "walk through the [health care plans] in a methodical way so that the American people can see and compare what makes the most sense."
It also comes just weeks after the president received high marks for engaging the House Republicans in a televised, 90-minute discussion at their retreat in Baltimore. The president has been hammered by critics who said his year-long push to revamp the health care system did not live up to his campaign promise to conduct the debate in the open.
I don't mean to be naive, but the history of our country is for any member of Congress to respond positively to an invitation to meet the president at the White House. That is civility (among a host of other applicable terms). If any member of the GOP snubs the president, he or she should have to answer to his or her constituents.
However, in this "he's not my president" world in which we've lived for the past decade (or more), it's very possible that a snub (by many) could come. How sad that would be.
But I'll remain optimistic and with reason: CBS' Mark Knoller tweets the following:
House GOP Ldr John Boehner quick to issue statement welcoming Obama's invitation to bipartisan conversation on HCR.