Washington – Showing true bipartisan spirit, Democrats and Republicans from both the House and the Senate say they’re ratcheting up a joint effort to deliver to President Barack Obama “some terrible, God-awful legislation” in a timely manner. Leaders of both parties spoke to the press following a day of intense negotiations and agreed that a terrible bill was possible by the end of this month.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said today’s negotiations were difficult, but productive.
“What we did was we put in the time, we worked through our differences as best we could, and at the end of the day we came out with a new conviction that we can get something atrocious to the President by the end of this month,” Grassley said. “This is proof that when we want to make something awful, we can work together to get it done.”
Leading Democrats agreed. Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who has pushed for the inclusion of a public option in health care reform legislation, said that while he still has many differences with Republicans, both parties share a common goal.
“When it comes down to it, we both want the same thing,” Schumer said. “We both want to get something horrendous to President Obama by the end of this month. We’ve made a commitment to do that, and I think we’re unified in our desire to meet that commitment.”
Reaching the stated goal will require first reaching consensus on separate bills in each chamber, then combining the resulting two bills into one piece of legislation. House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was confident the parties could work together to accomplish what he admitted was a difficult task in the time frame they’ve come up with.
“It will be a challenge, there’s no question about it,” McConnell said. “But I think if we can think, ‘make it shitty, make it terrible,’ and just keep that in our minds as we’re negotiating and crafting the legislation, I think we can get it done in that time frame. The key is to keep it terrible. Everything flows from that.”