House, Senate leaders back away from August deadline for healthcare reform

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
President Barack Obama's August deadline for healthcare reform was always an ambitious goal. Ultimately, it is proving a little too difficult to achieve as legislators on the Hill Thursday said they plan to regroup after the upcoming recess.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) conceded the president's deadline would not be met, and asked Republican negotiators for more time, according to The Washington Post. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was perhaps slightly more optimistic than Reid, quipping to reporters on Thursday, "I'm not afraid of August. August is just a month." Both Reid and Pelosi expressed a willingness to work through the recess, but neither gave any hint at when a finished bill could be expected. Reid did say it likely wouldn't be until the fall, according to Politico.com.

Reform debates have been slow and contentious in both chambers of Congress, with some members of the influential Senate Finance Committee even being locked out of meetings, Politico.com reported. In the House, conservative Blue Dog Democrats have withheld their support of any new legislation until their input has been taken into consideration.