No Senate Finance Markup Of Health Overhaul Before Recess
CongressDaily: "After a day of high emotions and partisan bickering, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus announced Thursday the panel will not mark up a bipartisan healthcare overhaul bill before August recess. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad said the bipartisan group of six negotiators will meet, even if by videoconference, over the recess. 'If we speed this thing up to have it done by next weekend, it's a train wreck,' Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Michael Enzi said" (Edney, Cohn, Friedman, 7/30).
Roll Call reports that Baucus and Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) "appeared jointly before reporters to dispel news reports that the negotiations had broken down amid pressure from the Democratic and Republican leadership teams. Baucus said the talks would pick up again next week and continue until the Senate adjourns for the August recess. There would be no meetings this weekend, he said. 'It was really a great meeting - a very productive meeting,' Baucus said. 'We are committed to finding a bipartisan solution as expeditiously as possible. We talked out the agenda, the issues. ... We are committed to a full session next week - every day of next week'" (Drucker and Pierce, 7/30).
CQ: "The delay means that Obama is unlikely to sign any overhaul into law by October, as he had hoped. It will be almost impossible for Democratic leaders to shepherd the bill through Finance, pass it in both chambers, reconcile House and Senate differences in a conference committee, and clear the measure between Labor Day and Oct. 1" (Wayne, 7/30)