WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that before the House acts on final health care legislation, leaders are waiting for costs assessments from the Congressional Budget Office, and information from the Senate parliamentarian.
Specifically, House leaders want to know "what the Senate will be able to do" in a controversial reconciliation bill meant to correct changes in the underlying health care bill.
Pelosi's comments came after an hour-and-a-half meeting in the Capitol with House and Senate Democratic leaders, and the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel that, in part, dealt with allaying distrust some House Democrats have of Senate Democrats and their ability to pass the reconciliation bill.
Asked if House leaders want a letter or some other concrete assurance about what the Senate can pass in a reconciliation bill, Pelosi, D-California, said no.
"We are way far down the road. It's not a question of confidence. It's a question now of making sure those numbers are what we represent them to be and we have to have that validation from the CBO," she said.
Separately, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, believes he has the votes in the Senate to pass health care reform using the reconciliation procedure that allows a simple majority vote.
Pelosi told reporters she is aiming for a House health care vote before the Easter recess, scheduled to start at the end of the month.
"That would be my hope," Pelosi responded when asked by a reporter if a vote before members leave for the two-week break was a realistic deadline.