Healthcare bill not done until February?

The final votes on the legislation may not come until after the State of the Union

By Alex Koppelman
December 23, 2009 7:38PM (UTC)
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The Senate will, as Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted it to, vote to pass a healthcare reform bill before leaving for Christmas. But that doesn't mean the whole drawn-out process is over; we may still have a couple months left to go.

Politico's Mike Allen reported Wednesday that the House and Senate may not be done working out the differences between their versions of the legislation in time for President Obama to give the State of the Union. They are trying to speed that along, however.


"Everyone seems committed to getting a bill to the president’s desk as soon as possible, but there are huge issues -- notably abortion language -- that have to be worked out between the House and the Senate. Officials at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue hope to avoid a FORMAL CONFERENCE -- appointing conferees requires a series of votes," Allen wrote. "Some House members want the formal process, but the differences are more likely to be hashed out among Speaker Pelosi, Leader Reid and the White House, with some personal involvement by the president."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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