"Progress," but "I'm not going to go into specifics" -- So Much for Transparency

Nancy "There has never been a more open process for any legislation" Pelosi isn't releasing any specifics on the health care negotiations. No one else is giving any specifics.

After two and a half hours talking health care at the White House, congressional Democrats and President Obama are making progress, but don't expect to reach an agreement on pay-fors today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters a short while ago.

"I'm not going to go into specifics because it's a whole package, and we have to reach agreement on the whole package," he said. "I think this president's participation in the details is an indication of how critically important he thinks it is for the American peope to do what he said he would do and that is to be sure that every American has access to afforable quality health care. And that's not just rhetoric. He's walking the walk."

Hoyer said there is an understanding in the room about how angry House members are over the inclusion of a tax on high-end insurance plans, but that was not the focus of the meeting.

"We've been talking about the whole gamut of issues that are raised by differences by the Senate and the House, the whole gamut," he said.

Asked if Obama told lawmakers what he wants in the bill, Hoyer showed a little separation-of-powers leg.

"Yes, of course, he's given his opinions," Hoyer said. "Congress is an independent body, but we're very interested in what the president's views are."

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