Sept. 19, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Obama Is Set to Meld Senate Bills

Begich has not spoken to Obama since the president convened a meeting of Senate Democratic moderates at the White House the day after his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress. But Begich said he expects the administration to begin throwing its weight around more forcefully as the process moves from Finance Committee markup to the merger and into the floor debate.

With a vote to report the Finance bill out of committee imminent and the merger negotiations to settle on a single floor vehicle about to commence, Begich also signaled that he and other Democratic freshmen are set to begin pushing for their health care reform priorities. Begich said these freshmen would be putting ideas “on the table.”

“They’ve been regular. But I think it’s not been — I wouldn’t call it an aggressive” involvement, Begich said of the Obama administration’s presence in the Senate on the health care front, adding that he expects that to change now that the Finance Committee has marked up its bill.

“I think now that that’s starting to tip to be done, I think we’ll see more,” Begich said.

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