Sept09,2009-In the face of public discontent, sagging poll numbers and stiff Republican opposition, President Obama is trying to invigorate the push for health care reform during an address to a joint session of Congress.
President Obama on Wednesday urged Congress to stop "bickering" over health care reform and get to work fixing a system that is at its "breaking point."
Declaring it is "time to deliver," the president said he is "determined" to break the gridlock and forge a deal on health care reform that has been decades in the making.
The president spoke during a rare address to a joint session of Congress, a day after lawmakers returned from a rocky summer recess during which constituents flooded town hall meetings to voice their concerns about the bills on the table.
In the face of public discontent, sagging poll numbers and stiff Republican opposition, Obama is trying to invigorate the push for reform -- even as he feels resistance from some members of his own party.
"The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action," Obama said. "Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together ... Now is the time to deliver on health care."
Obama is stressing his resolve to bring lawmakers together and clear away hurdles to passing an overhaul package.
"I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," Obama said.
But striking a combative tone, Obama took a firm stance against those he claims are stonewalling the process for political reasons.
"We've seen Washington at its best and at its worst. We have seen many in this chamber work tirelessly for the better part of this year to offer thoughtful ideas about how to achieve reform," Obama said. "But what we have also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have toward their own government. Instead of honest debate, we've seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise."
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