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Obama pushes Senate healthcare timeline

In an unannounced meeting at the White House, President Obama pushed key senators from both sides of the aisle to stick to their deadline for bringing healthcare reform to the Senate floor.

Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusOvernight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester MORE (D-Mont.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyClinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees MORE (R-Iowa), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziOvernight Energy — Presented by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance — Judge upholds Obama's marine monument | GOP lawmakers worried states using water rule to block fossil fuels | Lawmakers press Trump ahead of ethanol decision GOP senators ask EPA to block states that have 'hijacked' rule to stop fossil fuel production Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Wyo.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) told reporters that the president continues to push for a bipartisan approach to the bill and is flexible on many of the provisions but not the deadline.

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"We assured him we're going to keep to our schedule," Baucus said, adding that he still plans on a Finance Committee markup this month and a bill on the Senate floor in July.

While the senators conceded that they discussed "three or four" sticking points on the legislation, they declined to go into detail.

Only Enzi said he communicated to the president some concerns he and other Republicans have.

"I'm a little worried about the timeline, and I'm a little worried about how we pay for it," Enzi said, adding that the administration has already "maxed out the credit card."

Grassley emphasized that the president is pushing for a bipartisan bill, and he said his idea of a proposal endorsed by both sides of the aisle "is not a Democratic bill with five or six Republicans going along with it."

But Grassley noted that Obama is not giving in on his push to get a bill soon.

"I thought the president was flexible except in one area, and that was 'get something done,' " Grassley said.

Grassley Tweeted over the weekend that the president had "nerve" by pushing for the deadline: "Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us 'time to deliver' on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND.

"When you are a 'hammer' u think evrything is NAIL I’m no NAIL," Grassley wrote in another Twitter post.

The senator defended his Tweets Tuesday on MSNBC.