Health Care Slows in the Senate, Inches Forward in the House
By Ben Pershing
When it comes to health-care reform, the world's greatest deliberative body is living up to its name.
With Republican negotiators urging that the pace of talks in the Senate slow down, Max Baucus announced Thursday night that his Finance panel would not mark up a bill next week, robbing Democrats of the ability to brag that health-care reform will at least clear committee in both chambers before recess. (In a move that surely will further endear him to liberals, Baucus mentioned Thursday that he had "no idea" how he would vote on Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination.) Mike Enzi said a race to finish a bill by next weekend would result in a "train wreck," and the six primary negotiators plan to keep talking through August.
In the House, a coalition of liberals denounced the deal between Henry Waxman and Blue Dog Democrats as unacceptable, but don't appear to have the votes within the Energy and Commerce Committee to derail the bill. That panel worked steadily through a draft of the measure Thursday, defeating an amendment to remove the public insurance option and approving an amendment setting forth guidelines on funding abortions. The committee hopes to finish its markup today or tomorrow.
Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Jul 31, 2009
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