From NBC's Ken Strickland
It's been reported by at least one news outlet recently that the Senate Finance Committee would complete work on its health-care reform bill by September 15th. Not so, says Republican negotiator Mike Enzi.
"I have not and will not agree to an artificial deadline, because I am committed to getting health-care reform right, not finishing a bill by some arbitrary date," Enzi said in a written statement today. Enzi, Grassley and Snowe are the three Republican members of a bipartisan committee group drafting a compromise proposal.
Video: Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis talks about how Democrats will manage right wing protestors and other political saboteurs who threaten to derail the Democrats' health care agenda.
"Improving access to quality, affordable health care for American families is too important to do hastily. Additionally, since many of the policies under discussion will not take effect for a number of years, we should focus on the goal of meaningful reform and not rush to meet timelines."
Enzi also pushed back on suggestions that Senate Democratic leaders might use a procedural tool called "reconciliation" that would allow the Senate to pass a healthcare bill with a simple 51 vote majority -- making it filibuster proof.
"I won't be moved by partisan threats to misuse the budget reconciliation process," he said. "I am committed to getting health-care reform right."