"That old adage about 'Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good,' I think that's what we're confronting here. ... What we're buying here... is not a mansion. We're buying a modest home. But it's got a great foundation," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday. "The key to this is that this modest home, we can put additions onto it in the future. But if we don't have the starter home, we're never going to be able to put those additions on. The time is now. I plead with all of my progressive friends, now is the time to get over this hurdle."
On Tuesday, following a meeting with Democratic leaders at the White House, Obama urged Democrats to find a consensus, saying the time for bickering is over.
"I am absolutely confident that if the American people know what's in this bill, and the Senate knows what's in this bill, it will pass, because it's right for America," the president said.
"We simply cannot allow differences over individual elements of this plan to prevent us from meeting our responsibility to solve a longstanding and urgent problem for the American people. They are waiting for us to act."
White House officials say Obama made the case to Democrats that this might be the last chance to make progress on health care overhaul before the 2010 elections, and before his political capital possibly diminishes later in his first term.