Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) just appeared on CNN, and was asked by Tony Harris whether a health care bill can get out of the Finance Committee next week. Conrad said yes -- a sign that he could be getting behind Democratic efforts to pass the bill, without slowing it down.
"I think we could," said Conrad. "Look, there are, (laughs), I think it's pretty clear there are some of our colleagues who are engaged in a bit of a stall, a bit of a slowdown. That's understandable -- even though we've been at this in our committee for well more than a year, and we have had hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of hours of discussion, dozens of meetings, dozens of hearings."
Conrad -- who has himself been one of those people stalling the bill until now -- also specifically refuted the idea that there has been a rush to pass it.
"As I say, our little group of six -- three Democrats, three Republicans -- we've had 61 meetings," he said. "So the notion that somehow there's a rush here, I think is just for those who have kind of tuned in here at the last minute. We've been working on this for well over a year. I think we could complete our part of it by some time next week."