July 24, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Baucus’ Credibility Rests on Reform

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus has a lot riding on whether he can win support for his $900 billion health care plan.

But Baucus may have alienated Snowe on Wednesday by pushing to defeat an amendment by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) to postpone a final committee vote on the health measure until an official cost estimate was in hand. A visibly agitated Snowe railed against Democrats, saying a complete Congressional Budget Office score was vital before the bill moves on to the floor.

“In the world we live in, numbers matter,” Snowe said later. “I was actually surprised this morning ... that this would not have been a position that would have been embraced by the entire committee with respect to being fiscally responsible.”

Despite the challenges, several Democrats cautioned that Baucus has seemed to prevail in the past in the face of controversy. “This is a man who ran 42 miles of a 50-mile race with a gash that required eight stitches in his head,” said one Democratic lobbyist familiar with the Montana Democrat’s career. “He will find a way to get this off the floor with 60 votes.”

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