Finalizing Talks on Health Care Reform Bill on CNBC

See video
Transcript: 

... >>> we have been hearing that a deal is close on a health care reform bill. joining us this morning from capitol hill, democratic congressman from maryland, steny hoyer, the house majority leader along with our guest host, john podesta, the center for american progress. leader hoyer, good to have you on the program. >> good morning. >> how much sleep did you get? how late were you up and what does it z that tell us about what we might hear today? >> i got to bed around 2:00 this morning. >> oh, boy. >> it was a long night at the white house. i think we're getting very close. i would certainly hope that within the next 24, 48, 72 hours that we have a general agreement between the senate and the house. obviously we're going to have to move forward, make sure that our scoring, we've indicated this bill is going to be paid for. we've indicated we want to bring the deficit down with this bill. we need to make sure that those representations are correct in terms of whatever agreements we make. but i think we're getting very close. >> there were some hopes that we could hear something at the democratic leadership's presser today at noon, maybe get it scored starting this weekend. is that too aggressive? >> well, i think -- i don't want to say it's too aggressive, but i don't want to say that's going to happen at noon time. i think it's sufficient to say that we're very close. we're working very hard. as you can tell, we've been working very long hours to try to get this done for the american people. and the president's been very engaged in our discussions, as you know, we've been at the white house now on three out of the last four days. and my expectation is that we will be getting very close today. now, whether it's at noontime or later, i don't want to speculate. >> steny -- >> hi, john. >> it's john podesta. the house has passed financial regulatory reform. they passed health care earlier, pay as you go legislation to get the deficit under control. how frustrated are your colleagues now that we keep getting hung up on 60 votes in the senate? >> ""congressional quarterly"" says this has been perhaps the most productive house session in a very long period of time, maybe in history. you point out a number of pieces of the legislation that we passed which we think the american public not only support but that are very necessary for our country. and we're very frustrated by the fact that we've had more cloture votes in this past session than at any time in history. that frankly, the republican minority seems to be focused on opposition for opposition's sake. there doesn't appear to be much cooperation in the senate at all. and i think the house rightfully and i think the country is frustrated that very important pieces of legislation language in the senate, not because -- and this is the key point, john -- they don't have a majority support. for the most part they do have a majority support. over 50% of the senate supporting that legislation. but because of their 60-vote rule, their filibusters, they have been unable to get some of that legislation to the floor. so we're frustrated. we'd like to see it at least considered. up or down, if the majority of the senate don't support it, fine. that's our system. but if you've got a majority of the representatives of the american people in the united states senate who support a proposition, whether it's health care, fiscal reform, energy security, whatever it might be, we ought to see that legislation on the floor and voted up or down by the majority. >> you think they'll go along with the fiscal reform and the provisions that you've championed when the debt comes up? >> i certainly hope so. senator conrad and i and senator reid and speaker pelosi have been working very hard. obviously, as you know, john, you and i have discussed this. going forward, we need to focus on fiscal balance in our country. fiscal discipline, bringing the deficit down. because of the deep, deep economic crisis that this administration confronted, the last administration incurred great debt. we've incurred great debt. we need to put this country on a road to fiscal balance and responsibility. and that will be our focus. one of the ways of doing that is to adopt statutory paygo. another way that senator conrad and congressman greg have proposed is a commission to make regulations on bringing that deficit under control. ip hopeful that we can adopt both of those processes in conjunction with making sure that america can pay its debts. >> well, finish health care so ...