By Sam Youngman - 07/17/09 02:47 PM EDT
Obama has been meeting with House and Senate members in groups and one-on-one at a time when many are pushing back against his signature domestic policy issue.
Earlier in the day, a busload of congressional freshmen arrived at the White House. The group met with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, but the president did drop by for a few minutes, an aide said.
The lawmakers did not speak with reporters after the meeting.
Even as the president has ramped up pressure on members, they have shown a willingness to push back, sometimes while still standing in the White House driveway.
On Thursday, Obama met with Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), two key votes the president needs to reach 60 votes on healthcare, before traveling to New York and New Jersey.
But after the meeting, the lawmakers expressed concerns about forcing the legislation through before the summer break. Snowe called the idea "overly ambitious."
White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One Thursday that despite that pushback the president still wants to see legislation passed out of the House and Senate in the coming days.
Earlier in the week, the president met with Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Obama integrates climate change into national security planning GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Overnight Energy: Lawmakers kick off energy bill talks MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSwing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (Maine), Bob CorkerBob CorkerSenate poised to override Obama veto US general calls out Pakistan on support for Afghan militants This week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress MORE (Tenn.) and Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (Ga.).
Murkowski said after the meeting that the Republicans "raised a number of issues, including how quickly the Senate is moving on a health bill that would raise taxes on small businesses and modeling a new federal health plan on our broken Medicare system.”
Obama's full-court press began on Monday with a stern warning to his critics: “Don’t bet against us.”