WASHINGTON (CNN) - Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, dismissed Democratic criticism Wednesday that it increasingly appears he doesn't want any health care deal at all - a key point Democrats have been making to justify the possibility of going it alone, without GOP votes.
"I've said all year that something as big and important as health care legislation should have broad-based support," Grassley told CNN. "So far, no one has developed that kind of support, either in Congress or at the White House. That doesn't mean we should quit. It means we should keep working until we can put something together that gets that widespread support."
Top Democrats close to the White House have told CNN the Obama administration is looking hard at pushing through a health-care reform bill without Republican backing.
UPDATE, 1 p.m.: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a statement Wednesday saying negotiations remained on track.
"Bipartisan progress continues," said Baucus. "The Finance Committee is on track to reach a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive health care reform that can pass the Senate. Our group will be meeting tomorrow and our staffs continue to meet as well. I am confident we will continue our steady progress toward health care reform that will lower costs and provide quality, affordable coverage to all Americans."