GLENSIDE, Pa., March 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., said Monday he thinks Congress has the determination to pass healthcare reform this year.
"I think there's a lot more determination in the Congress now to get it passed," Specter said during a visit with President Barack Obama in the Philadelphia area. "I really think there's sort of reaction on the Democratic side of getting a little angry over the duration and intensity of obstruction and a lot more determination to see it through."
Obama also reflected that determination in his remarks about healthcare at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., Specter -- facing his first primary as a Democrat in decades -- said.
"That's the most fiery I've seen him since the early campaign. When I was listening to him I wished that he had given that in the State of the Union," he said. "If it's (in) the State of the Union, he would have reached a lot more people."
Specter said he thought Obama was having a "gradual effect" on changing minds in Congress.
"I think you see more members of the House now say that they'll rethink it, they'll try to find a way," Specter said. "I believe that we've seen here an issue that overarches healthcare. It's hard to have an issue more important than healthcare but it is in the sense of governance. This bill is really a test now as to whether the Congress -- whether we can govern."