DISPUTED

Dems Divide on Health Care Timeline

Discord among Democrats over Obama's health care reform bill just won't stop: Indiana congressman Baron Hill, a Blue Dog negotiating with leaders on health care, disputed Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement on Wednesday that Democrats have the votes to pass the bill in the House, CNN's Political Ticker reports. Hill believes the assessment was an honest mistake because "she was hearing optimistic things"—and Blue Dogs are making progress in their negotiations—but the numbers don't yet add up. "It would be easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than to pass this bill," said fellow Blue Dog and Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, who is trying to change the bill to ensure that it won't use taxpayer money for abortions. Stupak said Democratic leaders can't lose 40 votes if they want to pass it and predicted Pelosi "would lose more than 40 on the right to life issue alone. There's just no way." Meanwhile in the Senate, Majority Whip Dick Durbin says he's unable to push the bill through before the August recess, which was Obama's deadline. Politico reports that the hold up is in the Senate Finance Committee which is "still days, if not a week, waay from reaching an agreement" unless the recess is "significantly delayed" or Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation vote is pushed back.