From NBC's Luke Russert
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the Democratic health-reform bill would be on the House floor "not next week but the week after."
Pelosi continued to champion the release of the Democratic bill proclaiming at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, "It's really important for everyone to know that when this bill passes shortly there after, pre-existing medial conditions will no longer bar people from having health care."
According to Pelosi, the House will meet President Obama's deadline to pass the bill.
"I am confident the president will be able to sign legislation in the fall," she said.
Pelosi also touted the savings Americans will receive if the legislation is passed. A constant criticism from the GOP is that the bill costs well north of $1 trillion at a time when the country is amidst an economic recession. Pelosi said that Congress will find cost-cutting measures and "through the course of the legislative process we should be able to find more savings."
When pressed about the necessity for a tax on those who make $350,000 or more in order to pay for health care if more savings are found, Pelosi responded, "We had to have a revenue stream to ensure that the bill would be paid for. If we don't need that money, we can use it to reduce the deficit."
Thus, Pelosi essentially said the surcharge would be in place whether it is needed to pay for the bill or not.
She did, however, leave the option open to lowering the tax saying, "The surcharge that is on there is at the high end. If we can get more savings, we, perhaps, level the percentage that the high end is going to pay."
An interesting wedge issue that has come into play regarding the health-care reform bill in the past week is that of abortion. Recently, 19 House Democrats sent a letter to Pelosi vowing not to back a health-care reform bill that provides funding for abortions. When asked if she supported this initiative or opposed it, Pelosi dodged the question saying, "We have a number of letters that are coming into us…All these issues will be worked out through the legislative process."
When asked after the press conference if the abortion issue could be a potential poison pill for the bill, a Pelosi aide mentioned that in closed-door meetings it was "not an issue quite yet."
Pelosi seemed optimistic that all issues that fellow Democrats have with the health-care reform bill will be worked out in the next two weeks.
"Many of the initiatives that they want to see will evolve in the legislative process," she said.