Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), a member of the bipartisan group of Senate Finance Committee health care negotiators, on Monday rejected the panels new Sept. 15 deadline for reaching an agreement on a bill.
Democratic sources said Friday that Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and his group of six bipartisan negotiators had decided to set a Sept. 15 deadline for reaching a consensus. But in a statement Monday, Enzi said he hadnt signed off on the new date nor did he support an artificial deadline.
I have not and will not agree to an artificial deadline because I am committed to getting health care reform right, not finishing a bill by some arbitrary date. Improving access to quality, affordable health care for American families is too important to do hastily. Additionally, since many of the policies under discussion will not take effect for a number of years, we should focus on the goal of meaningful reform and not rush to meet timelines, Enzi said.
Were making progress, but we still have several significant, outstanding items to work on, Enzi added. I wont be moved by partisan threats to misuse the budget reconciliation process. I am committed to getting health care reform right.
Enzis statement also suggested that the Wyoming Republican didnt believe a new deadline had actually been agreed to. The lead-in to the press release that carried the Senators statement said that negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee have not set a mid-September deadline for bipartisan health care reform talks, and he reiterated that getting health care legislation right is more important than getting it done quickly.
The group of six negotiators is currently meeting in Baucus personal office as Members continue to work on health care reform legislation.
United We Dream protesters carry a mock coffin to the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Monday, July 21, 2014, to hold one of their "funeral services for the Republican Party" due to GOP positions on immigration. The immigration reform group visited several other Senate Republican offices to hold similar funeral services.