Murtha: Healthcare reform will hit floor next week

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a longtime close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), told The Hill that the House will consider healthcare reform legislation next week.
 
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.
 
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“The Senate was supposed to lead and they’re not going to be done,” said Murtha, referring to slow negotiations among members of the Senate Finance Committee.
 
“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.

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