Finance Committee Stops Short Of The “Edge”
"After being 'on the edge of a deal' earlier this week, the Senate Finance Committee has stalled in its health care negotiations, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is no longer promising that the committee will finish its work before the August recess," Politico reports. After the CBO gave a recent Finance reform proposal a positive review saying it was cheaper than other plans and would expand coverage to 95 percent of Americans Senators on the committee said they were approaching a deal, but acknowledged there was much work to be done. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader who is not on the committee, said he is now only "cautiously optimistic" that the bill will emerge from the committee before the recess.
During a private meeting including Finance Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, committee member Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and House Republicans, Politico reports that "Enzi gave the impression that he was holding out and was in no hurry to cut a deal with Baucus, according to people in the room." A Republican aide said the rush to finish the bill was "based more on political needs than policy progress."
"No one is preventing progress from being made other than Republican leaders in the Senate and House," Reid said (Budoff Brown and Isenstadt, 7/30).