Grassley: “You Folks Keep Looking for News and There Ain’t No News!”

Jul 30, 2009 7:02pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: The six bipartisan Senate Finance Negotiators emerged from a closed-door, senators-only meeting in an office in the Capitol Building to declare that their talks will go on. The group was at an impasse all day over how to proceed with their troubled quest to find middle ground on health reform. The talks will go on, the negotiators announced today. But there will be no consideration of a finished bill next week as Democrats had hoped. Senators are scheduled to adjourn for a month August 7th, so the health care debate is sure to drag long into the Fall. Sen. Charles Grassley spoke on-camera and was animated when he said part of the problem for negotiators is that journalists are too hungry to report on what’s going on behind the closed doors of the meeting room. The talks have progressed for weeks in the Capitol Office of Sen. Max Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. “You folks keep looking for the news and there ain’t no news,” he said. Grassley brushed off reports that the three Republican negotiators – Grassley, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Washington and Mike Enzi of Wyoming were being pressured by other Republicans to abandon the talks. “Do we look like we’ve been pressured,” exclaimed Grassley to the scrum of reporters that crowded in the cramped hallway waiting to see if the bipartisan negotiators could find common ground to keep their talks going. Baucus ceded that there would be no bill for the full committee to consider next week, as Democratic leaders had hoped. But he said it was more important to get a bipartisan bill.

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