Finance Vote Delayed

Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:59pm

Updated: 2:42 p.m.

The Senate Finance Committee will not vote Tuesday as expected on final approval of a massive health care reform bill because the Congressional Budget Office has not yet finished scoring the bill.

Democratic aides said the panel would vote later this week, but no sooner than Wednesday.

“We expect CBO scores later this week and anticipate a vote once we have them,— said one Senate Democratic source. “The Senators agreed to wait for the scores and intend to live up to that agreement.—

It was unclear if the Finance panel’s inability to vote Tuesday would affect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) plan to bring the bill to the floor next week. Reid plans on merging the Finance measure with a separate measure passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and he has indicated he would like to have his own CBO score of the merged product before bringing it to the floor.

But some Democratic aides indicated that Reid may start debate on the package before a formal CBO score, in order to start the clock ticking on time-consuming procedural motions that will be needed to bring the bill to the floor.