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Enzi, Grassley Meet With Cantor on Health Care

Two Senate Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee told members of the House Republican Whip team on Thursday that a deal has not been reached with Finance panel Democrats but that they were still working toward an agreement.Several GOP sources said Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) came across the Capitol to meet with Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and several other House Republicans in Cantor’s office to dispel rumors that a bipartisan compromise was about to be released. Grassley, Enzi and Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe make up the Republican side of the bipartisan gang of six Finance panel members who have been locked in negotiations for days trying to hammer out an acceptable health care bill. One GOP source said the Senators were not trying to get House Republican support for any particular proposal. Enzi told reporters after the meeting that the Finance bill was a “train wreck— and was “not ready for prime time.— “I don’t know any way how it could be ready today or next week,— Enzi said. The group continues to pursue a consensus bill even as anxiety rises among leadership and rank-and-file Senators on both sides of the aisle that the compromise will be a political non-starter. The gang, led by Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Grassley, is coming under increasing pressure.Baucus is feeling the heat from Democrats to get a deal done and start moving toward a final bill, while Grassley is hearing from Republicans who fear he will act hastily and agree to a bad bill.The group is tentatively scheduled to reconvene this afternoon, although an exact time has yet to be announced.