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Pelosi: We Have the Votes to Pass Health Care

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that she has the votes to pass a health care overhaul in the House, even as the bill remains stalled in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I have no question that we have the votes on the floor of the House to pass this legislation,” Pelosi told reporters.

The Speaker said she still intends to put the package to a vote next week but left open the possibility of keeping the House in session past the chamber’s scheduled adjournment of July 31. The Senate is poised to adjourn one week later on Aug. 7, but that date also may slip because of health care reform.

Pelosi’s original timeline has been thrown into doubt by a revolt of Blue Dog Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee, who have raised concerns about the cost and scope of the package. Panel leaders are huddling Wednesday with the seven moderates on the committee to try forge breakthroughs.

Pelosi forecast a light at the end of the tunnel. “We are going in a forward direction,” she said. “We are on course. We are pleased with the progress being made. We believe the American people have waited long enough.”

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