Reid Suggests Health Care Reform May Not Come This Year

(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
Asked if health care reform legislation will pass this year, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid told reporters today that "we're not going to be bound by any timelines."

"We need to do the best job we can for the American people," he said. "We want quality legislation, and we're going to do that."

President Obama had set a deadline of the end of the year to pass health care reform, and advocates fear that further delay could hamper the legislation's chance of passage.

"We're going to do this legislation as expeditiously as we can, but we're going to do it as fairly as we can, also," Reid said. He later added that the Senate Democratic Caucus wants "Democrats to do this the right way, not the fast way."

Health Care Progress Report

Reid made the comments after meeting with Democrats at a policy luncheon. He complained Senate Republicans were using stalling tactics to keep health care and other legislation from passing.

The Democratic leader said the opposition party had included numerous unrelated amendments, including votes related to ACORN, designed to draw out the legislative process.

"They have a strategy, one they're proud to admit, the Republicans, of doing everything they can to derail health care reform," he said.

Reid also told reporters that he was waiting for the non-partisan Congressional Budget office to complete its analysis on the legislation, "a time-consuming process that makes it unlikely the Senate would begin debate before Veterans' Day, Nov. 11," as the Associated Press notes.

The House is expected to vote on that chamber's version of the legislation by early next week. After both chambers pass their versions of the bill, they must be combined before being sent to Mr. Obama for his signature.

Special Report: Health Care Reform

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