In a CBS interview with Katie Couric on Sunday, President Obama attempted to breathe life into the stalled healthcare debate by inviting congressional Republicans and Democrats to a summit meeting on Feb. 25.
Obama, who has recently been accused of leading a partisan effort to push healthcare reform through behind closed doors, is being forced to talk compromise after the Democrats lost a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate following a special election victory by Republican Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
"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," said the president.
While GOP leaders plan on accepting Obama’s invitation, they also demand that the president and other Democrats be willing to completely replace the proposed healthcare bill.
"If we are to reach a bipartisan consensus, the White House can start by shelving the current health spending bill," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, quoted by Fox News.
Meanwhile, a White House aide said on Sunday that the president does not plan to start from scratch regarding healthcare reform and that the Democrats will be "coming in with [their] plan," according to The Wall Street Journal.