By Alexander Bolton - 07/23/09 02:04 PM EDT
Murtha’s statement came amid growing expectation that the House may leave before August break without voting on a healthcare bill, as Democratic leaders and recalcitrant Blue Dogs remain at an impasse over the long-term cost of healthcare reform and related issues.
“We’ll have the bill up next week,” said Murtha. “That’s what they tell me.”
Murtha’s comments reveal there is increasing uncertainty within the Democratic Caucus over the timing of healthcare reform.
Only hours before, Pelosi appeared to back away from setting a deadline of voting on healthcare reform before the monthlong August recess.
“I’m not afraid of August,” she said. “It’s a month.”
House Democratic leaders had hoped to pass a bill before breaking for recess, but that plan derailed after conservative Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee coalesced to block a markup. The panel delayed its markup again on Thursday.