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Hoyer Waffles on Health Care Timing, Willing to Look at Pay Freeze

When will Democrats finish health care? Democratic leaders don’t know.“I anticipate making a decision just as soon as the way forward is clear,— House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. “I don’t think time is running out.—Last week, Hoyer said Democrats would like to decide on a path forward sometime this week, which he was uncomfortably reminded of at his weekly press conference.“Did I say that?— he said. “I was in error.—Hoyer also said Democrats would consider freezing Congressional pay for another year but said he doesn’t support freezing pay until the budget is balanced. “That’s a long time, and I think that’s further ahead than I want to plan,— he said.Hoyer ripped Senate Republicans who had co-sponsored a fiscal commission for abandoning the bill when it was on the floor last week.Hoyer also backed repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell— law banning gays from serving openly in the military but declined to set a time frame for bringing a measure to the floor. Hoyer said Members would want to hear more from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.“You’ve got an awful lot of very capable people who are being shut out at a time when we need every capable person who is willing to serve,— Hoyer said.

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