- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BREAKING NEWS:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is moving ahead on health care legislation after the leadership and fiscally conservative lawmakers worked out a deal, but Democrats say the full House will not vote on the legislation until September.

Rebellious Democrats who have stalled work said Wednesday they’ve reached agreement with the leadership and the White House. Four of the seven so-called Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said they resolved their differences with Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. The lawmakers also had been meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

The development allows the panel — the last of three in the House — to complete its work before lawmakers leave Friday for an August recess.

It’s part of a three-way deal between conservative Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House.

Under the deal, the last of three House committees will be able to finish work on the legislation this week. But lawmakers will have time to review the 1,000-page bill before a floor vote in September. Originally, Pelosi wanted the House to vote by the end of this week, before the monthlong August break.

Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, one of the conservative Democrats, said the deal trims the legislation’s cost, protects small businesses and rural hospitals, and ensures that any government-sponsored insurance option competes fairly.

The four are Reps. Ross, Baron Hill of Indiana, Zach Space of Ohio and Bart Gordon of Tennessee.

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