Obama to meet with pro-White House outside group

KEN THOMAS
Associated Press
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2013, file photo President Barack Obama delivers inaugural address during the 57th Presidential Inauguration on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington. Obama outlined the liberal vision for his new term, which included protecting children from gun violence, tackling climate change and reducing the deficit while bolstering government programs to help the poor and vulnerable. Time since then has showcased the political limits of some of those ambitions. The result has been an uneven and sometimes disjointed start to what could arguably be the most important year of Obama's second term. (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is meeting Monday with his most loyal supporters to discuss ways to promote his agenda on issues like immigration reform and the economy as lawmakers prepare to return home for their annual summer break.

Obama was being joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California at a meeting of Organizing for Action, a non-profit formed from the president's 2012 re-election campaign.

The meeting comes ahead of Congress' annual August recess, when many lawmakers return to their districts and hold town hall meetings with constituents. It was during the same period in 2009 that many tea party activists rallied against Obama's health care proposal, which the White House is now working to implement.

Democrats are trying to build momentum on issues like immigration reform, which cleared the Senate but faces an uncertain future in the House; expanded background checks for certain firearm purchases, which are stalled in Congress; and measures to curb climate change, which the president outlined last month.

Obama also plans a series of economic speeches beginning this week that will be aimed at building support ahead of upcoming budget deadlines this fall and the potential for another fight with Republicans over the nation's borrowing limit.

Organizing for Action, which is run by former White House and campaign aides, has tried to build public pressure on members of Congress to enact the president's second-term agenda. The group raised more than $8 million between April and June.

Attendees at an "Action August" summit were receiving an update from Reid and Pelosi at the meeting, along with news from Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which has been active in opposing sweeping new abortion restrictions in Texas.

Obama was scheduled to speak at the summit and then at a dinner for the organization later in the evening.

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