White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just wrapped up a 90-minute meeting with a key group of Senate Democrats from leadership and committees working on health care reform.
Sen Harry Reid, D-NV, invited the duo to come for a discussion on health care, as two committees slog through the process of crafting a bipartisan overhaul of the nation's health care system.
Rahm, who said he went around the room hearing from members, bolted from the room and added that he would "communicate (the concerns) to the White House and the President."
"This was not a crunch time, decision-making meeting. We're all singing from the same hymnal," said Sen Chuck Schumer, R-NY.
Sen. Finance Cmte Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, trying to craft a bipartisan compromise, said, "Rahm said he wants a bipartisan bill." Baucus said the meeting was "for the President's Chief of Staff to hear our concerns. It was very, very good.".
As Democrats have their own internal disagreements, Baucus called today's meeting "a necessary step."
Sen Kent Conrad, D-ND, who is working with a handful of Republicans and Democrats to craft a compromise, heaped effusive praise on the meeting, calling today's gathering "one of the most productive meetings yet."
Conrad said, "I feel the best I have felt in the entire process....We're going to succeed. We're going to make this happen. And the President is going to help."