"I think we can update our preliminary analysis...within a few days of the package actually being set. A formal cost estimate would require...two weeks of work by us, once the package is settled."
Conrad ultimately suggested that the committee could hold its vote on the basis of the preliminary analysis, but that two week window would presumably still apply to progress beyond the committee's vote. It would, after all, take a similar amount of time to complete a final cost estimate of the package that ultimately comes to the Senate floor.
Finance chairman Max Baucus, as you'll soon see, was startled by this news, and pushed back, saying the committee would have to figure out a way to move more quickly than that.
"The box we're in, we pass legislation, we've got to cool our heals for up to two to three weeks before we know the final [score]?" Baucus asked incredulously. "That's unacceptale, clearly...so you've got to help us get out of this box."
How they'll get out of the box remains unclear.
Late update: Here's the video.
Late, late update: This post has been modified for greater accuracy.