Thursday, July 23, 2009

Students, er, Senators Miss Professor-in-Chief’s Deadline for Health Care Reform Bill

I know. I know. Just last night the Professor-in-Chief explained the importance of setting deadlines for his wayward students, er, senators; otherwise, they’d never get anything done. That’s why he told them they had to turn in their completed papers, er, health care reform bill, before their summer break.

But What’s this? Those darned kids - senators - must not have been listening. Donna Smith and Kim Dixon at Reuters report:

President Barack Obama's drive for healthcare reform suffered a setback on Thursday when Senate leaders said they would not be able to pass the measure before leaving for a monthlong August recess.

The day after Obama's prime-time news conference to sell the healthcare proposal, congressional leaders struggled to ease doubts about the plan and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the full chamber would not take up the bill until after its monthlong recess that begins on Aug. 7.

"We'll come back in the fall" to work on the bill in the full Senate, he told reporters.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was "more confident than ever" that Congress would meet Obama's timetable of passing a bill by the end of the year, but the initial vote might not come as quickly as hoped.

"We will take the bill to the floor when it is ready, and when it is ready we will have the votes to pass it," Pelosi told reporters.

The reform package under construction in both chambers of Congress has been besieged from all sides by criticism about its more than $1 trillion price tag and its scope, with debates raging behind closed doors over how to pay for the program and rein in healthcare costs.

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