Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh
CNN Capitol Hill Team
President Obama gave his blessing Tuesday for congressional Democratic leaders to bypass formal House and Senate talks to meld their health care bills, according to two congressional Democratic leadership sources.
The two sources told CNN that Obama and Democratic congressional leaders will instead hold informal negotiations to sidestep possible Republican delays of the process, likely shutting out Republicans from talks on the final health care bill.
Avoiding a formal conference has long been expected, and is not uncommon, but one of the Democratic leadership sources said the president used Tuesday evening's White House meeting with Democratic congressional leaders to formally clear the idea.
To hold a formal conference, conferees - members of the House and Senate - must be appointed by both bodies with resolutions passed by the Senate and the House.
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