President Barack Obama on Monday will meet with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in the Oval Office to discuss health care reform, according to a White House official.
Harkin, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has grumbled over the pace and direction of bipartisan health care negotiations in the Finance Committee.
Harkin’s HELP panel approved its version of a health care overhaul last month on a party-line vote. Harkin has been a key player in the Senate debate and has been a vocal proponent of a strong public insurance option — an issue that has divided Members.
Meanwhile, Finance negotiations are poised to begin again Monday afternoon. Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who had to push off a deadline for having a bipartisan agreement by the August recess, has said he hopes to have a deal done by Sept. 15.