WASHINGTON (AP) -- White House and House GOP leaders raced Thursday to put the finishing touches on a patients' rights bill based on an 11th-hour compromise between President Bush and the lead Republican author of a version Bush had threatened to veto.
"We expect that legislation will pass thorough the House before the members go home this week," Vice President Dick Cheney said a Republican rally on the front steps of the Capitol.
Cheney appeared at the rally just moments after Bush met with House and Senate Republicans in the Capitol basement, where he thanked the broker of the deal, Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., "for being realistic and reasonable."
Aides scrambled to put together the appropriate legislative language from a single page outline, with House leaders expressing optimism that the bill could be voted on by Thursday night. The terms governing the debate were finished at 7a.m. Thursday.
Notwithstanding a flurry of activity that stretched into the wee hours Thursday, it remained unclear whether a package could be finalized in time for a vote before the House adjourns Friday for an August recess.
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