From NBC's Mike Viqueira
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the president this morning and let him know that she was "hoping and praying" that he would change his mind and sign the children's health insurance bill.
Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appeared at a ceremony to sign the completed legislation and hand it over to the House Clerk, who in turn is charged with sending it down the Avenue to the president's desk. The leaders were flanked by a boisterous group of toddlers and older kids who were goo-goo-ing and ga-ga-ing throughout. The kids were said to be beneficiaries of the SCHIP program.
A certain veto awaits. Nevertheless, Pelosi says she "called to tell him that he is in my prayers." She described the conversation as "friendly" and that "the hand of friendship was extended to each other." The president, according to the speaker, told Pelosi that he "admires people who don't give up." Pelosi aides said that the speaker called the White House without warning and that she was immediately connected to the president.
Reid was not feeling so spiritual towards the president this morning, however. When asked what he has learned about the best way to get things down with Republicans, he answered, "Get a new president."
Reid says that there is no room for further compromise on the measure, describing it as "a wash rag that is wet...we have squeezed everything that we can out of it." Compromise on the bill, Reid said, "is something that will not happen."