“They haven't reported back to us yet,” he said.
Until they do, committee members won't hold a final vote on legislation despite having wrapped up the amendment process early this past Friday.
In the meantime, Baucus pledged that other senators would have ample time to review the CBO's numbers before moving ahead with the process.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who's seen as a potential swing vote on reform, echoed the chairman's comments.
“The Congressional Budget Office needs the time to do its job and not be encumbered by artificial constraints,” she said. “So that's honestly very important to me. And how it comes out does have material impact on my vote.”
Further, all 10 of the Republican members on the committee have asked that CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf and Thomas Barthold, chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, be present for the vote.
“Healthcare reform is a monumental task that will touch the life of every American,” the senators wrote. “Before the committee votes to report the legislation out of committee, it is important that all members have a thorough understanding of the cost of the legislation and how individuals, families, and businesses will be affected.”
The committee was expected to vote as early as today, but lawmakers now say there are no deadlines.
“We're not going to rush healthcare,” said Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Del.). “And if it takes us into November, so be it.”
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