Obama Asks GOP for 'Soul Searching,' Won't Start Over

Neither side budges much in daylong debate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2010 4:49 PM CST
Obama Asks GOP for 'Soul Searching,' Won't Start Over
President Obama gestures during his health care reform meeting at the Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

After a day of debate and disagreement, President Obama concluded today's unprecedented live talkfest on health care with the bleak assessment that accord between Democrats and Republicans may not be possible. He rejected Republican preferences for starting over, discussing the issue much longer, or taking a step-by-step solution. The president urged Republicans to "do a little soul searching" and said majority Democrats would decide quickly how to proceed.

Obama strongly suggested that Democrats will try to pass a sweeping overhaul without GOP support, by using controversial Senate budget rules that would disallow filibusters . And then, he said, this fall's elections would write the verdict on who was right. "We cannot have another yearlong debate about this," Obama said at the end of the 7-hour-plus session. Neither side gave ground throughout, sticking mostly to familiar arguments and talking points.
(More President Obama stories.)

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