White House Policy Pep Rally Scheduled for Tuesday

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Posted: Aug 03, 2009 4:05 PM
President Obama will meet with all 60 members of the Senate Democratic Conference at the White House tomorrow, undoubtedly to discuss wrapping up key agenda items before the Senate recess.  The top of the agenda is likely to include a renewed pitch for the health care overhaul proposal and an appeal to refinance the bankrupt "cash for clunkers" program. 

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the gathering will be "to continue to talk about the priorities that they have" and didn't doubt that "health care will be discussed . . . the economy will be discussed." 

Gibbs said trade-ins finalized past Friday will likely be honored if the Senate does not act before it leaves town. Administration officials noted it may be difficult for Senate Democratic leaders to assemble the 60 votes needed to overcome likely attempts to block any extension of the auto trade-in program, which is officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System.

Gibbs said an initial analysis of the program showed it was cutting carbon emissions by improving fuel mileage. He said the average fuel-efficiency of vehicles purchased so far was 25.4 miles per gallon, compared to 15.8 miles per gallon for those vehicles that were traded in. Moreover, it's helping Detroit's beleaguered Big Three: forty seven percent of vehicles purchased under the program were made by U.S. automakers.

Tuesday also marks President Obama's 48th birthday, so cake and ice cream will likely also make the agenda.