Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus might have gotten an earful from President Obama yesterday at a White House health care meeting. Why? Because now he’s publicly acknowledging that bipartisan negotiations could collapse forcing Democrats to advance a bill on a party-line basis.
“If Republicans aren’t there, it could get to the point where sometime after the recess… Democrats may have to go in a different direction,” Baucus said. “I hope not, but we have to face facts.”
Baucus has been one of the chief boosters of the idea of passing a consensus bill. That commitment has vexed liberals, but that’s part of what makes his statement today significant.