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Hoyer: House Likely to Adjourn Thursday

The House will probably adjourn for the Memorial Day recess Thursday without having resolved differences with the Senate on the war funding bill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in an interview.

Hoyer also said he expects that climate legislation will still come to the floor next month despite disagreement over when to take it up among Democratic committee chairmen.

“It appears that we probably won’t be able to get the supplemental done,— he said. “I talked to [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)] last night. We’ll see what they do today, but I think it won’t be in a form that we can simply pass it. We’ll have to have a conference, and we don’t have time for that.

“If that’s the case, we probably won’t be here [Friday],— he said.

Reid, speaking on the Senate floor Thursday morning, agreed with Hoyer that his chamber would pass its $92 billion version of the supplemental later in the day, but pass a final conference committee report after the weeklong break that begins Friday.

Nonetheless, Hoyer said Democrats have had a productive week, passing several consumer protection bills including the credit card overhaul.

Hoyer also expressed confidence that differences between committee chairmen on climate change legislation and health care reform would be resolved.

Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that he wants to do health care first in his committee before turning to climate change, in a reverse of the order of Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and the order expected by House leaders.

Rangel also has kept open the possibility of trying to scrap the intricate cap-and-trade compromise negotiated by Waxman in favor of a carbon tax.

Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) also has grumbled about the Waxman bill and has jurisdiction over portions of it.

But Hoyer said he still sees the energy package coming to the floor next month.

“My plan was, talking to Mr. Waxman, was to try to do energy in June and health care in July. That’s still our focus. And I don’t have any reason to believe that’s not doable. But it’s not a deadline, as I’ve said, it is an objective.—

Tory Newmyer contributed to this report.

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