Embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected back in Washington, D.C., sometime this week, with plans to immediately dive into negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of health care reform.
Sources familiar with Reid’s schedule said on Monday that Reid’s talks with House leaders probably will occur “round the clock— as Democrats race to deliver a final health reform package to President Barack Obama in advance of the State of the Union address. The Senate approved an $871 billion health care bill on Christmas Eve; the House passed its $1.2 trillion legislation before Thanksgiving.
Reid is expected to participate in numerous meetings with Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and relevant House and Senate committee chairmen.
Those leaders also are likely to talk via telephone this week prior to Reid’s return to Capitol Hill. Reid’s involvement in the health care negotiations comes amid revelations that he made racially insensitive remarks about Obama back in 2008.
Reid’s apology was immediately accepted by the president. Reid has rebuffed Republican calls for him to resign his leadership post.