Durbin backs Baucus's Sept. 15th deadline for bipartisan health bill

While the Senate will make a "good faith effort" to craft bipartisan healthcare legislation, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday, bipartisan negotiations will be abandoned by September 15th if no agreement comes together.

Durbin said that he stood by the deadline Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) stated deadline for his committee to craft a bipartisan bill by mid-September.

"We need to make a good faith effort to make this a bipartisan bill," Durbin said during an appearance on MSNBC. "We're going to have a chance to do that in September."

But Durbin cautioned that the September 15th deadline "is my date as well."

Other senior Democrats sent out warning shots on Monday that Senate leaders were prepared to use budget reconciliation to bypass filibuster rules and pass reform legislation with a simple majority of lawmakers.

Durbin hinted that, while he prefers a bipartisan deal, he's prepared to use reconciliation as well.

"If there is not a bipartisan bill, we have an option to do that," he said.