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megimoo
12-20-2009, 01:56 PM
Conrad: Senate bill or bust

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said Sunday that it’s the Senate bill, or nothing at all, when it comes to health care reform.

"It is very clear that the final bill that passed in the United States Senate is going have to be very close to the bill that is being negotiated here," the North Dakota Democrat said on “Fox News Sunday.” "Otherwise you will not get 60 votes in the United States Senate.”

But the White House has suggested that the Senate bill, which has drawn heated criticism from liberal Democrats in the House, may still change when it is reconciled with the House health care bill.

Writing in Sunday’s New York Times opinion page, Vice President Joe Biden said that “I share the frustration of other progressives that the Senate bill does not include a public option,” but suggested nothing is set in stone just yet.

“If the bill passes the Senate this week,” wrote Biden, “there will be more chances to make changes to it before it becomes law. But if the bill dies this week, there is no second chance to vote yes.”

And senior White House Adviser David Axelrod took a similar line on ABC’s "This Week," suggesting the administration prefers the House’s abortion compromise, saying “once the Senate passes this bill, obviously there's work to be done. The House has its version; the Senate has its version. They have to agree, and we're going to have to go through one more round.”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/politicolive/1209/Conrad_Senate_bill_or_bust.html