Baucus moving ahead with or without GOP

The Senate Finance Committee chairman will release his draft of healthcare legislation next week, deal or no deal


Mike Madden
September 9, 2009 8:10PM (UTC)

The Senate Finance Committee will move ahead with healthcare reform in the next couple of weeks whether Republicans want to cut a bipartisan deal or not, chairman Max Baucus told Democratic members of the panel Wednesday morning.

Baucus has been leading the so-called "Group of Six" effort to find a compromise on reform, but even the Republicans involved in the talks have indicated they might not vote for whatever bill the discussions produce. Now a source tells Salon Baucus plans to go ahead and release his own draft -- known as a chairman's mark -- by the middle of next week, with or without Republican support and input. The committee could move to debate and vote on the plan by the week after that.

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"He is making clear in the meeting that it is time for action and time to move forward to get a bill done by the end of the year," the source said.

The deadline could force the GOP lawmakers involved -- Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe -- to decide whether they're really committed to a deal or not. Of those three, Snowe has been the most open to Democratic proposals.


Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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