September 15th, 2009
04:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Gang of Six Republicans say no to Baucus bill - for now

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that – barring some unforeseen change - Democratic Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus will unveil a health care proposal Wednesday without the support of the three Republican senators - Charles Grassley, Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe - he's been negotiating with for months.

Senate Republican sources close to Grassley and Enzi - and in the case of Olympia Snowe, the senator herself - tell CNN they still have concerns that have not been addressed that range from taxpayer funding of abortion, to illegal immigration, to affordability of the health coverage this new law would require.

GOP sources to all these senators emphasize and insist that they aren't walking away yet - they will keep talking, keep negotiating and next week when votes start in the Finance committee they will offer amendments to address their concerns.

But Wednesday, when the Senate Finance Chairman unveils his bill, all indications are he will be doing it without the support of Republicans he has spent hundreds of hours negotiating with.

Meanwhile, Baucus is facing a defection from within his own party Tuesday. "I want to make clear that in its current form I cannot put my support behind the Finance bill - it will not have my vote," West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Tuesday.

Rockefeller believes Baucus has abandoned too many traditionally Democratic principles to accommodate the Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Among other things, Rockefeller thinks a health care overhaul should include a public option. The Baucus plan does not, instead calling for for non profit cooperatives.

Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. single mom

    Good for them! I was getting worried after all the articles and comments, especially about Snowe.
    Rockefeller's statement, whatever his reasons, is stunning.

    People, remember the numbers game – the Dems have enough to pass whatever they want without the Republicans. Ergo, blaming the Republicans for not passing something is just a smoke and mirrors effort to conceal problems within their own party.

    One thing remains the same in politics – ALWAYS BLAME someone else if you can't get something done, get caught, or make a mistake.

    September 15, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Kevin

    Time's up,'s Sept. 15. Show us your bill.

    September 15, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. fereddie

    When this plan fails, america will know who to blame. America has spoken and the democrats fail to listen. I can't wait until next years election.

    September 15, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom

    Perhaps the GOP has not learned to read. In HR 3200 section 246 (as I learned last week on CNN) it CLEARLY states that ONLY "Legal Residents and U.S. Citizens will be eligible for Government health insurance." Why do the GOPers continue to lie?

    Also, abortion will not be funded. Dear GOD, when will the GOP stop with this nonsense!?

    September 15, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. seebofubar

    Stick a fork in it....the public option is dead. The public option is like democrat candy, it tastes good but will rot you away from the inside. They must be treated like children, it's just that they don't understand things yet. They will when they grow up, I think.

    September 15, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Chris

    Baucus and others are being played. They will be forever told that they just need a little more compromise and a little more time to discuss, and then a bipartisan bill will be possible. But it's a case of Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football. The support will always get pulled out in the end.

    September 15, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Obama administration AKA "Looney Tunes"

    Not a group but a "Gang" of Republicans. Boy, CNN your stooping to a low level to get your reporters. Couldn't you pay one enough that could select a better word. I got it! Republicans are Racist Gangs. That's what you meant isn't it. I agree with Joe Wilson except the fact is, you all lie!

    September 15, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. ran

    The GOP will never support a health care reform bill.

    So why not just give us single payer non-profit universal health care now.

    Then go on to energy and immigration.

    The GOP will not support these issues either and will only obstruct with fear/hate/do nothing.

    At some point you have to act. Something the GOP nos nothing about unless it helps their selected few: CEO/NRA/Big oil/insurance.

    September 15, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Mic

    Let's keep the public option out of this for right now. Let's not turn this into something like Acorn.

    September 15, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Israel Barreto

    This doesn't surprise me. The republicans in the committee are only following the script laid out by Limbaugh and his cronies.

    September 15, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. johnathan

    Typical republicans modis operandi:

    Negotiate nothing.
    Start wars
    Let corporations run us into the ground
    Swiftboat anything they don't like

    September 15, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Joe, Georgia

    These Republican Senators are a joke. Everyone agrees to the restrictions on illegals access to health care and restrictions on payment for abortion, but they keep raising those 'red herrings,' that are not even up for debate. The Republicans are making a joke of this process while people lose health care coverage, businesses cancel plans because they can't afford them and people file bankrupcy because they got sick. Why are the Republicans incapable of putting politics aside to attempt to address just one significant issue facing the Country.

    September 15, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Jacques

    They have concerns about illegal immigration? I thought the President was clear in his speech to the Joint Session of Congress. What did Joe Wilson say?

    September 15, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Independent

    Democrats do what you been sent to Washington to do.....Leave the repubs behind!!!!!

    September 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. mark

    Hopefully now Baucus will now withdraw his proposal and replace it with one that includes a strong public option. That's what America needs, for both moral and economic reasons. The futility of trying to coax Republicans into participating in real reform should be clear.

    September 15, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. jinxie

    While Obama and Congress prepare to sell over 20-40 million captives to a market profiting from the rationing of human rights, ask yourself this:
    What makes them better than me?
    Is it money? Position? Class? Color?
    What is it making them so much more human, that they deserve to see a doctor when ill, and you don't.

    September 15, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Independent

    So what else is new that the Republicans will say NO....why would they want to change their slogan....PATHETIC

    September 15, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Mississippi Miss

    These great leaders on both sides have been working hard for Health Care Reform, and I personally appreciate their efforts very much.

    The only thing I resent more than President Obama's 'RUSH to PUSH'
    this bad legislation through... is his blatant lying when he says that
    opponents of his proposals, have nothing of their own to offer.

    The majority of American's understand that the best and the brightest ideas are not being heard (even though he has ears quite capable of
    hearing). President Obama obviously cannot sway the masses with his rhetoric and listen at the same time.

    September 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Steph

    How is "Republicans Say No" news???

    Other possible headlines for the day...

    "Water is Wet"
    "September Follows August"
    "Sunrise Occurs in the Morning"

    Now, if a group of 6 republicans (pick any 6) say yes to something...that would be news!

    September 15, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Marie Laveaux

    This totally cracks me up. The Republicans have pretty much insisted that anything of real merit be taken out of this version of the bill, turned it into a real joke, and then refuse to even vote for it after they watered it down to nothing. Shame on them. For the life of me I cannot understand why we have to pander to these people so much. The way I see it, if we succeed, then they look bad, if we fail, at least we tried to do the right thing. At this rate, all we'll get is a piece of crap that won't help the folks who really need it the most.

    September 15, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Scottsdale Jack

    Well then why bother trying to compromise at all? Time to push a single-payer health care system through Congress. Let the Rethugs howl about it, and then tell them "we tried to work with you....."

    September 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. From Wyoming

    Go for it. Enzi flat out gave a list of things he would not support. That is not compromise. Press on without them.

    September 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Lilarose


    Abortion is LEGAL in this country! Every woman with health care insurance has the right to an ABORTION! Every form of health care insurance should allow a woman to have an abortion.

    Sorry if you don't like it. Where is our Supreme Court when we need it?

    September 15, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Michael - Portage, Mi

    To heck with them.....obstructionists have been standing in the way of health care reform for 16 years. It's time to just get it done and move on.

    September 15, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Alex in Wisconsin

    A bill without the public option and the Republicans still aren't on board? Well that should be the last straw. The non-starter is out of the bill and now the skeptics can be sure that there was never any fuel in the Republican machine to begin with.

    September 15, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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