HOW ABOUT HEALTH CARE? WHAT ARE THE REFORM PROSPECTS THESE DAYS GIVEN THAT CONGRESS SEEMS TO BE GETTING A LITTLE NERVOUS? I am still optimistic that we are going to pass health care reform this year. I'm in my ninth year in Congress this year and I've never been so optimistic that we're going to fix health care. It won't be easy. It is complicated. Along with the economy, it is the most pressing domestic policy problem that we have facing the country right now. But it is a goal that is worth pursuing and achieving. I am going to do everything I can to lend my voice and my support to achieving the goal of universal health care.

LASTLY, THERE'S BEEN SOME CHATTER LATELY ABOUT A POSSIBLE PRIMARY CHALLENGE. YOU'VE HAD A COUPLE CHALLENGES IN RECENT YEARS. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ATTRACT MORE CHALLENGES THAN OTHER MEMBERS OF THE RHODE ISLAND DELEGATION? My magnetic personality [chuckles] — they all want to challenge me. It's part of the democratic process to have competing ideas. I welcome all challengers that feel they'd do the job differently than I would do it.

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