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Hoyer wants energy bill vote by Friday

From NBC's Luke Russert

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) today expressed his desire to bring an energy reform bill to the House floor by Friday, he said in his weekly off camera briefing with reporters. 

"It is quite possible maybe even probable that we will go to the energy bill on Friday and complete the energy bill late Friday," Hoyer predicted.

The deadline has been set for Wednesday for any amendments to the bill, and Hoyer informed the press that there was "attentive work over the weekend" on the legislation.

Video: House Democrats just announced that they'll take a vote on a sweeping climate change bill by the end of the week. Venture capitalist Ira Ehrenpreis discusses why investing in green energy pays off in an economic downturn.

Asked if the Democrats were trying to bring the controversial bill to the floor on Friday night in order to play off representatives' desire to go home for the weekend and thus force a quick compromise, Hoyer said no and pointed out that the blueprint for the legislation has been public since May.

Like most pieces of environmental legislation, Democrats are attempting to find a consensus within their own party on how to move forward. Since May, the Democratic Leadership has said they would like the energy reform bill passed by the July 4th recess, which begins next week.

On health care, Hoyer cited a recent CBS News/New York Times poll from the weekend that showed 85% of Americans believe the health-care system is broken.

Hoyer said he took the poll results as evidence that real reform was needed. Hoyer said Democrats want to "build on the existing system and to "expand choice."

He was also emphatic that a Democratic plan would not force Americans into government-run health care.

"If you got it; you like it; you keep it," he said.

As he has previously done, the majority leader set the August break as the desired deadline to get a health-care bill out of the House.

Lastly, on what is now the seldom-mentioned topic of immigration reform, Hoyer said that it was still a Democratic priority and that it would receive attention in the coming months.