WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate will not vote on health care reform legislation before the August congressional recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.
President Obama has been pushing for both the House and Senate to pass health care legislation before going on their August break - a goal that has appeared increasingly unlikely due to fierce Republican opposition and cost concerns cited by fiscally conservative Democrats.
Reid's announcement did not change Obama's timetable, according to a senior administration official. The president still wants the House and Senate to vote before the August recess.
Ealier Thursday, key House Democrats sought to convince a wavering public that prompt change is necessary.
Representatives of the Congressional Black Caucus, voicing the concerns of Obama's liberal political base, predicted that inaction this year would have dire ramifications.
If the federal government fails to act now, "we do so at the peril of the American people," warned Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, at a Capitol Hill news conference.