Finance Committee Staffer: We're Not as Close as You Think

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports:

Is the Senate Finance Committee on the verge of a bi-partisan health care deal? The big Page One headline in today's Washington Post declares "Senators Close to Health Accord." Finance committee negotiators, the article says, "are expected to wrap up their arduous multi-week talks in the coming days."

Well, maybe not.

In response to the article, the Finance Committee's Democratic staff director sent out an email to the offices of Senators on the Finance Committee saying "neither an accord nor an announcement is imminent."

"In fact," writes staff Director Russ Sullivan in an email obtained by ABC News, "significant policy issues remain to be discussed among Members, and any one of these issues could preclude bipartisan agreement."

Another sign of trouble: two Senators on the committee -- one a Democrat, the other a Republican -- tell ABC News they doubt the Committee will pass a bill before August recess begins on August 7, a deadline reaffirmed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday afternoon.

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