Pelosi: 'I'm not afraid of August'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made it clear Thursday that she intends to keep the House in session into the August recess if that's what it takes to pass a massive healthcare overhaul.

"I'm not afraid of August," Pelosi said. "It's a month."

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As the bill has bogged down, Pelosi has indicated she supports staying into August if necessary. But Thursday was her strongest statement yet on the topic. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) had indicated there was no point in staying into August if Democrats can't reach consensus. But, as Speaker, Pelosi has the final word.

Shortly before Pelosi's news conference, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), the No. 3 Democrat in the House, added his voice to those saying the House should stay into August.

"If we leave here without doing this, nobody is going to interpret that we're going home to listen," Clyburn said. "They'll say we're going on vacation without having done it."

The bill has bogged down as Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee have threatened to block the bill. They say it doesn’t do enough to cut healthcare costs and puts too heavy a burden on employers. And even if the Blue Dogs' concerns are assuaged, there are still looming problems with the tax on the wealthy to pay for it and objections by rural members who feel Medicare shortchanges their physicians and hospitals.

Pelosi reiterated Thursday her belief that she has enough votes to pass the bill. Democratic opponents of the current bill said it is nowhere close to having the votes to pass on the House floor. But she stood by her vote count Thursday.

"I'm more confident than ever," Pelosi said.