Grassley, Braley predict health vote by Thanksgiving

Healthcare reform legislation will probably face a final vote in the middle of November, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested Monday.

Grassley, who as ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee has been a lead negotiator of a bipartisan health package, predicted completed legislation slightly past the October deadline President Obama and congressional Democrats have preferred.

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"If we get a bill on the Senate floor by the third or fourth week of September, it's probably going to take two weeks," Grassley told Radio Iowa. "Probably take a month to negotiate the difference between the House and Senate provisions, so I would suggest the middle of November."

Democrats in Congress and the White House have said they expect Obama to be able to sign a bill by October, but with lawmakers adjourning for recess without passing preliminary bills, that deadline may prove difficult.

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which reported a marked-up version of the House health reform bill on Friday, predicted a final bill before Thanksgiving recess for lawmakers.

"It's an ideal time for that because it's kind of natural break … the Friday just before Thanksgiving break," Braley told Radio Iowa.