Pelosi and Reid Tell President: We Have the Votes; President Wants Bill Passed Soon

By Lindsey Ellerson

Sep 8, 2009 6:20pm

While White House spokesman Robert Gibbs today refrained from telling reporters whether President Obama in his speech Wednesday night will set a deadline for passing health care reform, sources tell ABC News that in his private meeting with Democratic congressional leaders this afternoon the key word was urgency.


The president told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that it is important for them to pass health care reform bills soon, the sources said.


Both leaders told the president that despite the difficult rough and tumble of the legislative process in the last few weeks, they are optimistic that both the House and Senate can pass health care reform legislation.


What will be in the bill remains an open question, though after the meeting, Reid told reporters that “we’re going to do our very best to have a public option or something like a public option before we finish this work.”

– jpt

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