July 21st, 2009
03:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Hoyer: House could leave without health care vote

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled Tuesday that the House could leave for its August recess before it votes on health care reform.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled Tuesday that the House could leave for its August recess before it votes on health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled Tuesday that the House of Representatives could leave for its month-long break in August without voting on health care reform.

"If we can get consensus, we're going to move. If we can't get consensus we're going to continue to work on creating consensus," Hoyer told reporters.

He added that he doesn't think it is "necessarily necessary" for the House to stay in session into August to continue working on health care legislation.

His words were in contrast to those of Rep. Henry Waxman a week ago, when House Democrats unveiled their version of the health care bill before sending it to three committees for consideration. "We quite frankly cannot go home for a recess," said Waxman, chairman of one of those committees, "unless the House and Senate both pass bills to reform and restructure our health care system."

Hoyer said Democrats still want to pass a bill next week and will continue to discuss changes to the proposal. "We'll see," he said. "I'll make that decision next week, I'm not going to make it now."

The majority leader also conceded that concerns about the current House bill are not limited to a group of conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats who have publicly stated their opposition to the bill.

"It's not just Blue Dogs. I want to make it very clear - progressives, Blue Dogs and everybody in between has expressed concerns, and we're working on that," Hoyer said.

– CNN's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Pastilles

    I disagree with Hoyer; they need to stay and finish this. When things are left undone in Washington, they remain undone. This is no time to give amunition to the opposition to continue doing what they are doing. The time is NOW! We've been waiting years for a change; that's what we voted for.

    July 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. bill

    The insurance companies, the hospital associations , the pharmaceutical industry, the AMA, and people who have present health insurance coverage, but might have to pay more tax, are fighting this tooth and nail as evidenced by the ads you see on television and in the newspapers. They are spending millions promoting the idea of "free choices in healthcare" when they themselves now ration healthcare even to the people that are covered by insurance presently by the "private sector".

    After all, they all rely on the defeat of any change in healthcare as being in their best financial interest regardless of the 45 million people in this country who are not as fortunate.

    July 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. howie

    Why does this idiot Waxman want a vote when no one knows what is in the health pckage. However I agree, lets call for a vote just to see how many really want his piece of junk. The voting would be very interesting. Obama does not want a vote now because he knows it will go down in flames.

    July 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Mike

    I sure as heck hope they get this over with, it's far overdue both for Americans and for the US's international standing.

    July 21, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Rufus Hill

    We need comprehensive health care reform, and we must all sacrifice some to get it. A number of proposals for paying for it
    (1) $350,000 income should have taxes raised (didn't the President in campaigning say $250,000, (2) health benefits that are granted should be taxed, (3) small businesses should be taxed, etc. We all
    must sacrifice to get this the PResident has said. But instead of
    doing one of the above, couldn't we have a COMBINATION of all of them but with smaller "bites" in each area; e.g. taxing only half of
    the benefits bestowed.

    July 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    How about we make a deal with Congress?
    If you don't reach some kind of concession before the August recess, then you go "on break", but WITHOUT

    July 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Ernesto

    Based on the amount of work accomplished and days worked, I suggest the first bit of legislation should be a reduction in pay and benefits for our elite Congress. These people of both parties are spending more time searching for blame than getting something done. Since they don't require a better health plan personally, there is no motivation for them to work to find a solution. Let's strip them of that benefit too and we'll get results. Oh, that cushy, rediculously generous retirement they voted themselves should be taken off the table too. Pretty soon we'll have all these corrupt, immoral politicians in the same boat with the rest of us! Who ever heard of another job where going on vacation while critical work remained to be completed was allowed?

    July 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    To those of you who continue to say "victim of Obama," you are wrong....WE are ALL victims of Party Politics, and it doesn't make a difference which one, or even those so-called 3rd parties...they're all in it for one thing only....$$$$$ and they don't care how they get it.

    July 21, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Predicta

    He should have passed health care first. By passing Stimulus first, he has shown the public that he may not know what he's doing as the results don't match his expectations. Now people are starting to question whether or not he knows what he's doing with health care reform. I see HCR as DOA. By autumn, the political momentum will make it impossible to pass this monster.

    July 21, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Finish this for America!

    Let's make a deal... If you don't reach a concession by the time you're scheduled to recess, you can go on your August vacation – but you all go WITHOUT any kind of health insurance...

    It is simply against the American spirit to have a life/death issue like health insurance that elected officials have been debating for more than 10 years without resolution.

    As one of the millions of Americans without health insurance, I can tell you honestly – we can't wait! Any delays will only allow for more political games, and push health care reform farther away.

    July 21, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Cobra Montana

    It is good if they go into the August break, maybe some of them will get such an ear full from the people against this bondooge they will be afraid to vote for it. I will vote against any senator or representitive that votes for this mess. Clean house in 2010 with some new people, some have been there way to long and have forgot who they supposedly work for.

    July 21, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Ah, how bout you all work until you get a plan that reduces cost and provides coverage to all Americans. It would be nice if you guys earned your paycheck like everyone else.

    The only way to reduce cost is by getting rid of our for profit insurance companies who spend 78 cents on the dollar on health care (vs 90 cents on the dollar for non profit and 97 cents for Medicare).

    July 21, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Minnesotan

    I don't get a month off to run around willy nilly. Our pathetic politicians, both Dems and Rethugs need to put their whiny butts back in their seats, get to work and continue to fix the health care system. It's been broken since Nixon allowed HMO's to inject themselves between patients and doctors for the sole purpose of scamming money. More than 72% of Americans want a public option for health insurance, like the rest of the civilized world has. Get it done!

    July 21, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Simmy

    Don't you dare, MISTER.....Stay in that HOUSE until you make a definitive decision on healthcare.....Stop the BULL and fight for your constituents.....Forget bipartisanship....That ship sank Nov 0, '08...
    Work on those Blue Dogs who call themselves Dems but are Red as heck.....No public option plan will equal no votes......The polls have yet to voice their opinions.....Big business helped you get there, but average Americans will decide if you stay.......

    July 21, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Jessie

    If the Democrats in moderate districts want to retain their seat it would be wise to leave without a healthcare vote. Unread legislation is not going to cut it anymore.

    July 21, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Ray

    Ah, well,
    You would think, after 70 years of this social engineering it would all be fixed and Congress could meet for a day or two and adjourn. Maybe we could be so lucky and they would just leave.

    July 21, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Osama B Laden

    Please members of Congress... pass your laws to give every person, legal or not, free medical care.

    It will be the Death Certificate of America.

    ALLAH AKBAR!!

    July 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Cali J

    Anyone check the Gallup Poll today.
    Obummer below Jimmy Carter. Now that's bad. For those old enough to remember Carter, he made GW seem like Abe Lincoln.
    Hang tough Repubs and Blue Dogs. See what's happening here. Start reading these bills and Governing for the people.
    Stimulus Failure, Healthcare, Afghanistan Escalating, Unemployment Rising, Foreclosures, Etc.
    I know, I know, it's all Bush's fault. Hmmmm, The Dems have had both houses for 3 years now. Could it be that Americans (even the kool aid drinkers) are starting to see past the smoke and mirrors of Obummer, Pelosi, Reid, and the others. For those who say "the party of no", you are right. The GOP is the party that gets no opportunity to present any new ideas. Princess Pelosi won't allow it. Just keep trying to Rham (pun) these bills down our throats without even knowing what is in them. Fear Mongering= If we don't get this done now, we never will. Kind of like the mushroom cloud from Saddam!
    Wake up all Americans. This will affect all parties. There are better solutions.

    July 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Candy West Virginia

    Jimmy the Greek – but the biggest gaffe of all rethuglicans LYING to the world about a war so Haliburton (cheyneys ex company) could get billions in no contract bids...the result hundreds of thousands of people died over a lie = typical rethuglican politics. Now that's priceless!

    July 21, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Henry Miller

    The consensus of 80% of all Americans that their own health care is mostly okay–and if it ain't (badly) broke, why, and what, are the idiots in Congress trying to "fix"?

    There are two groups of people who want health care "fixed:" the whiners who just want someone else to pay their medical bills and don't
    much care who gets soaked to achieve that, and Democrats who have a nasty habit of trying to buy people's votes with other people's money.

    The best thing Congress can do is go home now before they cause any more damage to the country.

    July 21, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Enlightened Voter

    Republicans support gun rights for all citizens but oppose health care for all. Typical.

    July 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Glennis

    Blue Dogs, I love you! Hold their feet to the fire and make them present a bill that won't kill us instead of curing us!

    July 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. yuri

    This bill on healthcare already looks very unhealthy from anemia as an upshot of absence of adequate funds. The other health hazard will be a gargantuan GOP infection, necessitatin' massive doses and boluses of antibiotics and an ICU (filibuster-proof) attack on this dire danger. CPR will and should be instituted, promptly, by repulsin' the repubs., and reversin' the condition.

    July 21, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Bob in Pa

    Just go home now – do us no more harm.
    Maybe vote on making it a 3 month holiday instead.

    July 21, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. MJ

    Rome wasn't built in a day ... Health Care Reform needs to be thought out and the American people need to understand exactly what this will cost and how it will work – not pushed down our throats. Have many Canadian relatives – they hate their System. You better hope you have a Physician/Surgeon as a relative or close friend.

    July 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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