SQUEAKING THROUGH

House Health Bill's Last Hurdle

Senate Democrats said they'll miss the August health-care overhaul deadline—but House Democrats are still chugging away, and they're open to a last-resort loophole to get the bill to the floor: bypassing its last, stalling committee, the panel on Energy and Commerce. The Hill reports that, while moderate Blue Dog Democrats in Energy and Commerce drag their feet and keep the bill off the floor, Democratic leadership is now threatening to bypass the committee altogether, if they don't resolve their disagreements fast. "All options will be on the table," said Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-CT), who noted that "the preferable course" would be to go through the committee. Speaker Nancy Pelosi demurred on the possibility of bypassing the energy committee, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says progress is still being made. One committee member, California's Rep. Jane Harman, said members were asked to clear their calendars for Saturday, suggesting that the bill could clear its final committee soon.