Pelosi hopes to finish health bill as 'Christmas present'

All House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants for Christmas is healthcare reform.

The speaker told constituents yesterday that she wants to finish health reform as a "Christmas present" for the country.

"I'm hopeful that we will have a bill as a Christmas present for the American people," Pelosi said, according to KCBS. "But we will have a bill and it will be soon."

That desire comes as her second-in-command, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) outlined a new schedule that could keep the House in session until late December -- shortly before the holiday recess -- to finish health reform legislation.

One of the key variables in the process with be the Senate's ability to finish the legislation quickly. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he hopes to bring it to the floor next week, but a series of amendments and an extended debate could push back the holiday timeline.

Once the Senate finishes its work, Pelosi said she would continue to fight for her public option during conference.

"We will go up to the table fighting for a public option because we believe that's the best way to keep the insurance companies honest and to increase competition," she said.