Reid spokesman: Congress will pass health bill 'by any legislative means necessary'

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed on Wednesday that Democratic leaders have not yet decided to go it alone on healthcare reform legislation, but that "patience is not unlimited" and that Democrats are determined to pass the bill this year "by any legislative means necessary."

Jim Manley, Reid's spokesman, told CNN:
The White House still prefers a bipartisan bill, and neither the White House nor the Democratic leadership has made a decision to pursue reconciliation...We will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill. However, patience is not unlimited and we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary

Reports surfaced this morning that the White House and Democratic leaders are prepared to force a party line vote in order to pass healthcare reform legislation.

Liberal Democrats applauded the strategy while House Republican leader John Boehner (Ohio) said "from day one, the White House has taken a go it alone approach on health care."

The ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee and lead healthcare negotiator Chuck Grassley (Iowa) stood behind the bipartisan talks in his committee today in light of the reports.

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