Sen. Mike Enzi, one of three Republican Senators involved in the Finance Committee negotiations, has just released a statement pushing back against media reports that the committee was on the verge of a bipartisan compromise:
“We still have several areas where we haven’t been able to come to a consensus. No deal is at hand and substantive issues, big and small, remain under discussion and need to be resolved. We need to keep working together.
“I will need to see complete language and a final estimate from the Congressional Budget Office before I can agree to any health care reform bill…
“I also need commitments from Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the Administration, that the bipartisan agreements reached in the Finance Committee will survive in a final bill that goes to the President.”
If Enzi means what he says, his demand makes it effectively impossible for him to back a compromise. There’s absolutely no way that Pelosi, Reid and Obama would preemptively agree to a deal that included neither a government-run plan or an employer mandate just to attract the support of a lone Senator of the minority party. And even if they were willing to, they don’t have the power to guarantee that liberal members would go along with any such deal. After reading this statement, I’m starting to think that we may see Enzi follow Orrin Hatch’s lead, and drop out of negotiations.
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