A Senate proposal is now being developed by a 12-member working group. It will attempt to incorporate elements of the House bill, senators said, but will not take up the House bill as a starting point and change it through the amendment process.
“The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
“We are going to draft a Senate bill,” added Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “That is what I’ve been told.”
The working group has been meeting for weeks, said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the group.
“What we have to do is build a consensus among our conference and that is what the working group is designed to do,” Cornyn said. “To get to a compromise we can agree to and then present it to the larger conference.”
Cornyn said there is “really no deadline” for the group to produce a bill. “We are just working toward getting 51 votes,” he said.