Dem leaders vow to move forward on healthcare -- with or without GOP

Democratic leaders vowed to press ahead with healthcare reform after a 7.5 hour summit at the White House.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised President Barack Obama for the marathon sessions, but said they would act on the Democratic proposals discussed Thursday -- with or without Republican support.

"Every Republican used the same talking points," Reid said in a brief press availability at the White House following the summit. "Time is of the essence. The American people waited five decades for this, and we are going to do this."

"The fact is that we're going to move forward," Pelosi said, adding that Democrats didn't have the option to pass up on the opportunity to move healthcare legislation, only to let the "process" stop them.

The process to which Pelosi referred is the budget reconciliation maneuver, a tactic Democrats are considering using in order to pass a health bill in the Senate with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes usually needed to end a filibuster.

Obama defended that process on Thursday, saying that Americans wanted an up-or-down vote on the healthcare proposals before Congress.

As for bipartisan cooperation, Pelosi said they welcome GOP ideas and may incorporate them, but that she's skeptical that any compromises would win Republican votes.

"I'm hopeful that something may come of it," she said. "I'm not overly optimistic that we may get Republican votes for the bill."

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