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Reid Confident Finance Panel Will Clear Health Bill Before Recess

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) voiced confidence Tuesday that the Finance Committee will be able to mark up a health care package before adjourning for the August break.Reid’s remarks came just before Finance Democrats were scheduled to meet to continue working on an agreement that they hope can pass the committee and the full Senate. Reid has already said the chamber will not consider a health reform bill until after the recess, which begins Aug. 7. “I have a responsibility to get a bill to the Senate floor that will get 60 votes that we can proceed toward,— Reid said, demurring on whether he would back a bill containing a public plan or nonprofit cooperative to provide health care to the uninsured.The Majority Leader noted that before the recess the Senate must pass a pair of appropriations bills and the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, which could take up the bulk of next week. Reid also wants to bring up a travel promotion bill that would provide a major boost to his economically strapped home state.

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