If this doesn’t make you mad, then I don’t know what will. From The Hill:
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, has assured his GOP colleagues that he will not sell them out and strike a private deal with Democrats on healthcare reform, according to Republican senators.
Grassley (Iowa), who is known for having a close relationship with Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and has been negotiating behind closed doors with Democrats for weeks, made the promise to the entire Senate Republican Conference at a meeting late on Wednesday, according to several senators who attended.
Grassley, Enzi and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), members of the so-called Group of Six, told Senate Republican leaders and colleagues at the meeting that they would not commit to the legislation without first consulting the entire GOP conference.
And Grassley’s approach is markedly different from the one Baucus took when he was the ranking Democrat on the committee in 2001 and Republicans were trying to pass a massive package of tax cuts.
Baucus struck a deal with Republicans before giving the Democratic Conference a chance to review the deal, a maneuver that enraged his party leaders and gave bipartisan momentum to President George W. Bush’s tax package, which ultimately became law.
Grassley is not about to do that on the healthcare deal, Republicans say.
Not that this is the least big surprising, but Grassley’s now admitting he plans to screw Baucus, and the leading Dem on Finance still insists on playing nice. It’s infuriating.
The good news is there’s hope:
Now that Baucus is unable to report a deal by the end of next week, pressure will grow on Democratic leaders to force action on the Finance panel. That would mean pressing Baucus to report a bill with minimal GOP support or moving ahead without Baucus’s input.
Fine by me. SO fine by me.