From NBC's Luke Russert and Domenico Montanaro
In his weekly off-camera briefing with reporters House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said House Democratic leadership will move bills along at a quick pace for the rest of the summer, as President Obama wants to continue to push several big-ticket items.
On healthcare and energy reform: Hoyer said that President Obama, as well as the Democratic leadership, want to "accomplish both of these issues prior to the August break." However, Hoyer went on to say that there is no specific deadline to pass health care or energy reform at this time.
On which bill will be voted on first, Hoyer said that whatever bill goes to the floor first will be based on which one can get out of committee the quickest. Hoyer reiterated that the Democratic leadership does not want to pass one ahead of the other and quite simply that "the scheduling of these bills will be based on the progress made in committee."
An important thing to note is that the energy reform bill has already started to go through the "mark-up" process, as opposed to the health-care bill, which is still being drawn up. Hence, the energy bill at this point is further along.
On the government takeover of GM: "I think this is Congress' view on both sides of the aisle and that is that this is not something that Congress would have chosen to do." Hoyer then stated that it was a reactionary measure taken in response to the ongoing U.S. financial crisis.
"We have not created a specific oversight for the automobile issue at this point and time," Hoyer said, going on to reiterate the Obama administration's position that the government has no interest in the day-to-day operations of General Motors.
Hoyer then said the government takeover of GM was a "short-lived position" and part of a "broad discretion used to meet the economic crisis."
On the upcoming war-funding bill: Recently House Republicans have said they will vote against the war-funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan if it contains the $5 billion that the White House wants for the International Monetary Fund.
"I hope that we have the votes," Hoyer said. "Previous Republican administrations have supported the IMF, and I hope it goes forward."