Gibbs takes shot at Finance Committee


White House press secretary Robert Gibbs criticized the Senate Finance Committee 24 hours before President Barack Obama is set to address Congress, questioning why lobbyists have a copy of the committee bill before the administration.

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Gibbs said it is "not surprising" that K Street lobbyists have the proposal, which does not include the controversial public-option plan, before the president does.

Gibbs demurred when asked if he was impugning committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of Obama's closest allies on healthcare.

Gibbs said he was told that "K Street had a copy of the Baucus plan, meaning, not surprisingly, the special interests have gotten a copy of the plan that I understand was given to committee members today."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he had not seen Baucus's draft either, when asked during a briefing at the White House after a meeting with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).