House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been pretty adamant: She would prefer to pass a health care bill by early August, and would be willing to hold the House in session past a scheduled recess to get there. But she's also unwilling to move unless the Senate does...something.
'[I]f we're done, and they're not done and they're gone, what is the point?" Pelosi said in a meeting with reporters yesterday. "It's interesting to me that people are saying, 'Don't leave until it's done.' I don't know how much more we can do if the Senate is not going to move."
The concern, as I suggested earlier today, is that the Senate may be on a completely different script. Nobody knows--or at least no Democrats know. And it would be politically risky for Pelosi to ask her vulnerable members to take a vote on a big issue if the Senate is doing something significantly different.
And on that score, she's also willing to wait. "I'm not afraid of August," Pelosi said at a press conference today. "It's a month."
Her mark seems to be the Senate Finance Committee: "I think that some of the negotiations that are going on now [with House Blue Dogs] will be facilitated by the Senate doing something, because it removes some questions as to what are they doing," she said. "What is it that they are doing?"
In other words, if the Senate Finance Committee comes forward with a bill, then you'll likely see the House push something through before recessing. "They could come out with something in the next 24 hours," Pelosi told the reporters. "I'd be a little more concerned if it were next Wednesday and they still hadn't shown anything, but they have another week."
But that's all assuming congressional leaders don't decide to work well into August--and it's still somewhat unclear how likely that is.