No Vote on Health Care Reform Before Fall: Reid
More time is needed to build support for bill, majority leader says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 12:52 PM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., arrives for a news conference on hate crime legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The Senate will not vote on the health-care bill before the August recess, Majority Leader Harry Reid said today, citing the need to build bipartisan support—or even unified Democratic support—for such comprehensive reform, the AP reports. “Working with Republicans, one of the things that they asked for was more time,” Reid said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable.”

Reid said the Senate Finance Committee will finish its work on the plan before the recess, but the bill must then be merged with work done by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. And with negotiations continuing, there’s just not enough time, Democrat Dick Durbin adds. “Count the days. Either we’re going to go into overtime or face the prospect of doing it after August.”