House Democrats said they were frustrated because they had not yet seen legislative text and an official pricetag for a group of healthcare measures needed before they vote on a broader health overhaul package.
Dems frustrated by lack of legislative text, cost figures
“I think everybody understands that we need to move on, that we got other things we got to do,” said one lawmaker who attended the meeting but spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to express the opinions of others in the room. “This is our last, best chance.”
Members were told late Wednesday night that the caucus meeting would focus on actual legislation and a cost estimate, or “score,” from the Congressional Budget Office. But neither was present at the morning meeting, which was attended by much of the Democratic Caucus. “It wasn't the big moment—I think when the all-points-bulletin went out last night—that some people thought it was going to be,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Instead, White House reform chief Nancy-Ann DeParle walked members through the president's proposed “fix-its,” which Democrats in the House say are needed to get their vote. The White House proposal would essentially change some parts of the Senate's bill. Many House Democrats are hesitant to pass the Senate's bill without first receiving assurances that provisions they favor would be included.
The CBO did, however, release a revised analysis of the Senate's reform package passed Dec. 24. While that bill serves as the underlying package the House is likely to vote on, cost estimates will be different once the White House proposals are scored.
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