White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel says a national health care bill will be passed by both houses of Congress "before the members go home for Thanksgiving." Emanuel also claimed the bill will be "bipartisan" even if every Republican in the House and Senate votes against it.
"Health care will be passed before the members go home for Thanksgiving," Emanuel said on the Charlie Rose program last night. "And it will not be just on the Senate finance, because the legislative process is a place where both bodies get to contribute."
Rose asked about possible Republican support. "There are going to be bipartisan ideas and policies in this healthcare bill, be it the idea that Senator McCain advocated during the presidential primary," Emanuel answered, referring to a McCain health-care tax proposal that Obama attacked during the presidential race. "It will be in the bill. So the final product will be bipartisan. If Republican or individuals decide to vote for it, that's their choice. But the policy making of the -- "
"So the policy will be bipartisan, whether you get votes or not," Rose asked.
"Right," Emanuel said. Emanuel said the White House "will never, ever stop trying" to win Republican support.
"So you're always asking them for new ideas, if they have any?" Rose said.
"Always, constantly," Emanuel answered.
Republicans have complained for months that the president has refused to meet with them. The White House has not responded to several serious GOP health care reform proposals.
When asked whether the final health care bill will contain a public option, Emanuel said, "That should be what the conference [committee] has to negotiate."
"Can it pass with a public option feature?" Rose asked.
"I think the Senate's been clear about what -- the prospects there," Emanuel answered. "That doesn't mean in the House that they're not going to come to the table and demand that."