"Right now we're really focused on what is before us, and that is a bill to repay Maine's hospitals and make sure that 70,000 Mainers get health coverage," House Speaker Mark Eves, D-Portland, said on WCSH-TV's "In the Arena" program.
Meanwhile, House Republican leader Ken Fredette of Newport told the NBC public affairs program he does not expect Democrats to prevail. "Not one single Republican in the House or the Senate has voted for the bill," he said.
Lawmakers gave final approval to the bill to repay the debt, with the state's $186 million share to be covered by future liquor sales. LePage and Democrats agree on that provision, but LePage is vetoing the bill because it also includes an expansion of Medicaid.
"Democrat leadership has spent the past week forcing this bill through the legislative process, over the objections of Republicans and Democrats alike," LePage wrote in his veto message. "This unadulterated partisanship tied two different issues together in a quest to force welfare expansion upon the Maine people. I have said all along this bill would receive a veto when it reached my desk, so this letter should be no surprise."
The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to override the veto.
Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland said in a statement Friday that the governor's veto "denied paying off the final bill to Maine's hospitals and providing healthcare to tens of thousands of Mainers."
But he also expressed hope that some resolution could be reached.
"We don't need political excuses. We don't need to draw hard lines drawn in the sand. We simply shouldn't wait to do what's right for our state, both morally and fiscally," Alfond said.
On WCSH, Eves urged residents to call Republican legislators and LePage's office "to make sure we can follow through and do the right thing."
"And on Tuesday, when the veto comes up, we have another opportunity to get this right, and we ask that the Republicans join us in doing that," he said.
But Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Cebra, in a statement, accused Democrats of "petty, childish politics since this session began."
Fredette, on NBC, said he suspects the Senate override will fail "and that will be the end of it." But he also suggested a bipartisan study commission to work out a solution. Fredette has submitted a bill to that effect. "I think we have time to do it," he said.