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Obama to Meet With Baucus and Dodd

President Barack Obama will meet Thursday afternoon with Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), two key players in the Senate effort to craft health care legislation.

The meeting follows a session Wednesday between Obama and top House Democrats to discuss melding the House and Senate bills and a Tuesday session with the president that included top House and Senate leaders.

Lawmakers for the most part have not yet returned to Capitol Hill, but White House and Congressional leaders are already waging an intensive effort to merge the House and Senate health care bills. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated Tuesday that progress is being made toward an agreement.

Baucus led efforts to move legislation through the Finance Committee, which he chairs, while Dodd led the crafting of a bill in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the absence of its then-ailing chairman, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Obama on Thursday also will appear at the White House to discuss the attempted airline bombing, and he has a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton, the White House said.

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