Downplaying Expectations for a Bipartisan Health Bill

By Lindsey Ellerson

Sep 15, 2009 5:54pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: What about the "bi" in "bipartisan?  The Democratic half of the bipartisan "Gang of 6" negotiations are already warning that what comes out of those negotiations might not be bipartisan at all. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is expected to introduce the fruits of the gang's labor on Wednesday, but don't hold your breath for the Republican members of the "Gang of 6" to throw their support behind it.
 
"It may well be that people reserve their final decision until we go through the committee process," said one of the Democratic negotiators, Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota. And that process will change the bill. After Baucus introduces his version, it will be marked up by committee members. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a special Democratic caucus for Thursday, but many more liberal Democrats are already lining up against it. Democrats on the Finance committee but not part of the "Gang of Six," like Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, have pledged to do their best to amend what the bipartisan negotiations produce. And whatever the committee passes next week will be changed again before it hits the Senate floor as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid combines it with the partisan bill Democrats passed out of the HELP Committee over the summer. So it will not be surprising for the Republican half of the gang – Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Olympia Snowe of Maine – to keep their poker faces.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus