From Sunlen Miller:
More than 30 members of Congress will gather today at historic Blair House, across the street from the White House, for the president’s much anticipated bicameral bipartisan health care summit.
The president may not want today’s six-hour summit to turn into “political theater,” but the preparations beforehand certainly took a dramatic turn — with negotiations over the invite list, the speakers and even the shape of the table where they will all sit down late this morning.
To kick the summit off, the president will offer brief opening comments, followed by Republican and Democratic members chosen by their colleagues.
The White House says they will then begin discussions around four themes: 1) Controlling costs — introduced by President Obama; 2) Insurance reforms — introduced by Secretary Sebelius; 3) Reducing the deficit — introduced by Vice President Biden; and 4) Expanding coverage — all of which will be introduced by the president.
The president will be seated in the middle of one side of the hollow square, with Biden, Sebelius, and congressional leadership seated alongside him at the table. Members will be seated by caucus around the square table.
Members of Congress expected to attend the meeting include:
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Majority Leader
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Republican Leader
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Majority Whip
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Republican Whip
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Chairman of the Finance Committee
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Ranking Member of the Finance Committee
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Majority Leader
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, Republican Leader
Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Majority Whip
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., Republican Whip
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Chairman of the Ways and Committee
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee
Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., Ranking Member of the Education and Labor Committee
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., Chair Emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.
Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J.
Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.
Sen. McConnell and Leader Boehner will designate one additional Republican member to attend.
More from ABC’s Karen Travers HERE.
In the late afternoon after returning to the White House the president will deliver remarks and present the awards for the 2009 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal in the East Room with the First Lady.
– Sunlen Miller