'This Week' Transcript: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Their -- the security of their jobs, the cost of their children's education, how they're going to pay their medical bills. What is the status of their pensions? And they can't wait any longer. If, you know, if your family has a – a preexisting condition, or if you ever been denied coverage, or if you have a -- a rescission. If your insurance has been withdrawn just as you're about to need a procedure, you know it's long overdue.

And what's the point of talking about it any longer?

VARGAS: If -- but the point is when it does finally come to vote on it in the House, you're certain that you can muster the 217 votes that you need...

PELOSI: We...

VARGAS: ... even with the differences over abortion language? Things...

PELOSI: Yes.

VARGAS:... that there are members of the House who voted in favor of it before, who are now saying, "We can't vote for this bill, because of the Senate language on abortion?

PELOSI: Well let me say I have this in three -- just so you know how we sequence this. First we zero in on what the policy will be. And that is what we'll be doing -- following the president's summit yesterday.

Secondly, we'll see what the Senate can do. What is the substance? And what is the Senate prepared to do? And then we'll go to the third step as to what my -- my members will vote for. But we have a very diverse party. But we all agree that the present system is unsustainable. It's unsustainable.

It's unaffordable for families, for -- and individuals, for businesses -- large, small, and moderate sized businesses. It's unsustainable to our budget. We cannot afford the rising cost of -- of health care. As the president has said, "Health care reform is entitlement reform." And it's unsustainable for our economy. We want to be competitive. These health care costs are a competitiveness issue. They diminish the opportunities for our businesses domestically and internationally to compete without this anvil of health care costs around their necks.

VARGAS: You mentioned jobs. Members of the House have already weighed in on the Senate jobs bill saying it's too small and does too little. The Congressional Black Caucus said it shouldn't even be called a jobs bill. Should you agree to the smaller, incremental approach given that unemployment is the single biggest issue in this country right now?

PELOSI: Well, we wanted to move as quickly as possible on jobs. We passed our bill in December, as you probably know. What the Senate is taking is a segmented approach to it. And I think when everyone sees what the different pieces are, they will know that we're on the path --

VARGAS: But you've said that's OK. Is it OK to do it in that smaller, incremental way, and not the big, dramatic way that the House proposed?

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