Hoyer: Health Bill to Pass No Later Than Tuesday

Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:00am

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday he is “hopeful— Democratic leaders will wrap up work on a package of changes to their health care overhaul today, setting up a floor vote as soon as Friday. While acknowledging action on the bill could slip into next week, Hoyer said he is confident it will pass by next Tuesday at the latest, before lawmakers leave town for Veterans Day.Leaders are still working through some remaining logjams, most notably over how strictly to tighten language banning federal funding of abortions. Hoyer said he is “reasonably confident— of a resolution, “essentially making it very clear that any money spent on the issue of termination of pregnancy will be spent not by the government but by the individuals.—Democratic leaders are hoping to include that fix in the manager’s amendment, which they have pledged to post publicly 72 hours before floor action. In an indication of the down-to-the-hour time pressure Democratic leaders are facing as they seek to wrap work on the package, Hoyer said he hoped to allow that amount of time to elapse before beginning debate. But he added, “If we miss that by three or four hours in terms of bringing it to the floor but we don’t have a vote, I’m not going to consider that an egregious violation of my own rule.—