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While advocating bipartisanship, Baucus admits GOP leadership is trying to ‘kill’ health care reform.

By Zaid Jilani on August 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm

"While advocating bipartisanship, Baucus admits GOP leadership is trying to ‘kill’ health care reform."

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baucus2In a recent interview with the editorial board of a local Montana paper, Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus (D-MT) continued his advocacy for a “bipartisan” approach to health care, arguing that “it’s better for the country.” Yet, he also admitted that the GOP leadership is putting “intense political pressure” on his committee colleagues Olympia Snowe, Chuck Grassley, and Mike Enzi to defeat any health care bill:

The Republican leadership in the Senate and in the House is doing its utmost to kill this bill,” he said. “They are putting intense political pressure on Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snow and Mike Enzi, to bow out, because they want to kill it. So I’ve got a challenge ahead of me to work out all this on policy as we go through these meetings.

“The other thing is the politics of it: ‘People, this is the right thing to do for America. I know you’re under intense political pressure, but do the right thing. I know it’s easy for me to say right now, because I’m getting beat up by both sides, but not nearly as much as you are by the Republican hierarchy.’ ”

Yesterday, in an interview with FOX News, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) underscored the GOP’s reticence to support health reform. He told Neil Cavuto that he doesn’t think “a single Republican” will vote for health care legislation that looks like the bills in the House or Senate HELP committee. And yet, Grassley and Ezni state that they want 75-80 votes for the bill in order to support it.

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