Healthcare bill said solid in House

Oct. 30, 2009 at 4:08 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. House Democratic leader Friday indicated amendments to the healthcare reform bill likely won't be allowed.

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, said he doesn't think amendments on abortion, single-payer healthcare or other issues will have much of a chance to be considered, The Hill reported.

"Unless there are major problems I would expect the opportunity for amendments to be very limited, if at all," Miller said during a telephone news conference.

Miller and Rep. Rosa DeLauro. D-Conn., said caucus meetings and private consultations among leaders and sub-groups of House Democrats replaced the need for amendments to be considered on the House floor. They also noted the bill will be available online for three days before the vote, and previous versions of the bill have been online for months.

"There's been an openness about this process that's been unprecedented," DeLauro said.

The decision on whether to allow amendments rests with the House Rules Committee, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California controls through appointments.

Pelosi has signaled a reluctance to allow amendments, the Washington publication said.

"I'd have to be talked into it, I think, but -- let's put it this way -- I'm open to it," Pelosi said.

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