CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S JOHN HARWOOD SITS DOWN WITH SENATOR MAX BAUCUS AND SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY TONIGHT ON "CNBC REPORTS"

WHEN: Today, June 4, 2009 at 8PM ET

WHERE: CNBC Reports

Following are excerpts from a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Senator Max Baucus and Senator Charles Grassley tonight on "CNBC Reports."

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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JOHN HARWOOD, anchor: Senators, thanks so much for joining us, especially at such an important time in this process. As I understand it, you're in the final stages of trying to negotiate a bipartisan bill that the committee would act on in a couple of weeks. I've talked to a lot of people in leadership, your colleagues, in the White House, and a good number of them say, boy, it's a great thing they're trying. Isn't that nice, but given the pressures on the left, the pressures on the right, it's just not going to happen. Is it going to happen?

Senator MAX BAUCUS: It's going to happen. There's no doubt in my mind it's going to happen. As sure as we're sitting here, it's going to happen. We're going to a meaningful, strong health care reform bill this year. It's going to happen.

HARWOOD: That he will support?

Sen. BAUCUS: That he will--I'm 99 percent certain that he will support. We're working on it. I'm quite confident...

HARWOOD: Are you guys confident that this is going...

Sen. BAUCUS: I'm quite confident that we're going to get there.

HARWOOD: ...you'll get a bipartisan bill?

Senator CHARLES GRASSLEY: I want to have--I want to have a bipartisan bill because most of what we've done in the Finance Committee and what it takes to get things through the Senate is bipartisanship. You know, there's not a whole lot of partisan legislation gets through any body, even considering the large number of Democrats that are in the Senate. It's pretty difficult to get something this major through. You want to remember, this isn't just health care reform. This is restructuring 16, 17 percent of the gross national product. And it seems to me that whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, president or a member of Congress, that you would want, with such a piece of legislation, Congress has never done anything like this before, that you would want it to be bipartisan.

HARWOOD: But the way that your talks are going so far, you're confident that when he lays down a bill in the committee, you're going to be able to be on that bill?

Sen. BAUCUS: Well, if I might answer that question. I think it's--we're both going to lay it down, you know, Senator Grassley and myself.

HARWOOD: Fair enough.

Sen. BAUCUS: We're working together, you know, and we're working as hard as we can to get--to reach that agreement.

Sen. GRASSLEY: And I think we have to see ourselves as brokers, you know. There's differences of opinion in the Democratic Party, Republican Party. We discuss things. We've been discussing things over a long period of time. There's a lot of things that there's agreement on but nothing's final. As a broker, you take it back to your--in my case, Republicans, in his case, back to the Democrats. There's going to be refinement of it, you know, and these sort of things. And...

HARWOOD: But you share his confidence?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I share the confident that we're going to get it done because the people of this country expect us to get it done.

Sen. BAUCUS: If I might add on that part, we're going to get it done very simply because it has to get done. Our health care costs are growing at such a rapid, rapid rate that if we don't get a meaningful bill passed now which will address and lower the rate of growth in health care expenses, we're going to rue the day we didn't. And the senators understand that. The senators know that we have to get a handle on the growing health care costs of this country because it's just going out of sight.

Sen. GRASSLEY: And if I could comment on that. You know, this is restructuring, as I said, and we need to have the Congressional Budget Office as an impartial person show us that over the long term, we are going to bend this curve so that this big increase doesn't come. Because if it isn't, you know, we aren't accomplishing our goal. We'd just be spending more money on a program that isn't good. It's got to bring about reform. There's a lot perverse incentives that bring about a lot of inefficient delivery of medicine and that needs to be changed because the government's responsible for those perverse incentives. We've got to correct a lot of errors of the past.

HARWOOD: Let me talk about and go through what I understand to be your points of agreement before we talk about the disagreement. You both are aiming for a plan that achieves essentially universal coverage, everyone's in, yes?

Sen. BAUCUS: Yes

HARWOOD: It'll cost roughly a trillion dollars and about half of that money comes from spending cuts, mostly in Medicare. About half of it comes from new revenue. Agree with that?

Sen. BAUCUS: Roughly, roughly, yeah.

Sen. GRASSLEY: I have to say for Republicans, that there's a big feeling in my caucus that more money might be put in up front but there's got to be a show of a payback because my party's not going to go along with a lot of big increases that doesn't show payback.

HARWOOD: But you agree approximately a trillion dollar cost over 10 years?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I have not seen any figures yet that would lead me to confirm that.

HARWOOD: Right. There will be an individual mandate to purpose coverage?

Sen. BAUCUS: There'll be a shared responsibility. That is that all Americans will have an obligation to have insurance of some kind or another.

HARWOOD: Yeah.

Sen. GRASSLEY: And I can say there's a lot of people in my party believes the same thing.

HARWOOD: And that shared responsibility extends to employers as well? You either insure your people or you pay into the system? Can you support that?

Sen. GRASSLEY: No. There would be a great difference in my party on that. There's two things that my caucus feel very strongly about. One is not to have a public option, and number two, not to have what you call play or pay.

HARWOOD: And are you opposed to pay or play? You will not support the bill that...

Sen. GRASSLEY: I'm opposed to play or pay.

HARWOOD: So how will you handle the issue of getting employers to participate?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I will handle that because if you have an individual mandate, then the individual's responsible for their own health care. And for people that can't afford it, there'll be refundable credits.

HARWOOD: Can you pass a bill that doesn't have an employer mandate?

Sen. BAUCUS: Well, there's--I'm fond of saying, because I believe it, there's a lot of ways to skin a cat. There are a lot of ways to get agreement and compromise. These are two difficult issues. And frankly, the senators are meeting as we speak to try and find ways to find an accommodation on those, especially on the first one, on the so-called public option. There are an infinite number of varieties of public option. And frankly, the goal here is to get, you know, a compromise here and that is one of the components we have to work on. And it gets to the question of health insurance reform. A huge key part of this bill is to stop the outrageous practices of a lot of insurance companies, which deny coverage, deny health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, deny coverage because of health status. We're outlawing that. We're saying no more, and that's especially a problem in--with the individual market and small companies and so forth. Now, some suggest that maybe this so-called other public option is necessary to keep the insurance companies' feet to the fire. That's an argument that we hear around here. My point is that if there's less need for that, that is the feet to the fire, if we really do a good job in reforming the health insurance industry. Now, it's helpful that the health insurance industry is, to a large degree, playing ball here. Why are they playing ball here? It's very simple. It's because they're willing to give up their business model of underwriting insurance, that is denying coverage based upon health status, because they'll make it up on volume. If everybody has health insurance, they're selling more insurance, so that's how they can, you know, make up what they otherwise would lose in the underwriting market if underwriting of insurance...

HARWOOD: Just one more thing on employer mandate. The president in his letter yesterday, which you praised, said that he favored shared responsibility for employers but with a carve out, an exemption for small business. Could you support that?

Sen. GRASSLEY: What we're after here is to make sure that everybody that doesn't have insurance is covered. When the bottom line of it is that you don't have 47 million people that don't have insurance, that have insurance, that meets the goal of our bill. However you get there isn't. But that's what we're shooting for is to make sure that people are insured. Not as an end in itself, but if you're part of a system, it's cheaper to keep well than wait until they get sick and then get them well. We want to have a good health care delivery system.

HARWOOD: Now, on the public play, you mentioned there are many ways to skin a cat. Some people have talked about a fall back or a trigger. Other people have talked about some sort of chartered government enterprise that is somewhat removed from the day-to-day operation of government. Do you, the two of you, see a compromise in one of those two options?

Sen. BAUCUS: Actually, I do. I don't know exactly its form, but I do.

HARWOOD: Do you?

Sen. BAUCUS: And I also...

Sen. GRASSLEY: I'll give you my principle when he's done.

Sen. BAUCUS: ...see--I also--and in addition, on the other so-called pay or play, I also think there are ways to resolve that one, too. It's interesting. Large employers, frankly, have come to me and said they want that provision, and they frankly want a big, so-called pay component. Why? Because they want a bill that keeps their employees with them and they offer insurance for them. Now, it's a bigger burden, clearly, on small business, and it's that portion--that portion of the president's letter which I found great comfort in, namely that, hey, small businesses, big business, small business deserves a break here. And so if you look at different components, the size of the business, and so forth, I think there's a possibility that we can find some solution there.

HARWOOD: What's your principle?

Sen. GRASSLEY: If there is a solution here, it's got to be one that does not have the government setting prices or unfair competition. And so what we're concerned about is that we don't have what one think tank called crowd out of 119 million people because then you get a detraction from another one of the president's goals that Republicans share, that if you want to keep the insurance you got, you ought to be able to keep it. Because with crowd out of 119 million people, you know, you got a smaller pool left and everybody's rates go up and pretty soon nobody's going to have private insurance because the public option is better, and then you get government control, government price setting, and you get where you are with Medicare today, where you're again in a position where Medicare's not paying the full costs, and pretty soon people don't take Medicare patients, and pretty soon you don't have the delivery of medicine. You want access, and we want not only access but affordable access.

HARWOOD: So if you had some sort of entity that was removed enough and the government's hand was light enough that it was not setting prices, that might be a solution?

Sen. GRASSLEY: We're looking at some options like that and I think I have a responsibility not only for myself, and an honest broker with Senator Baucus, but with my people, to take every option that we can and have people look at it.

Sen. BAUCUS: I agree with that. There should not be price setting here. And there should--if this is set up, there should be...(unintelligible)...competition. I pretty much agree with that.

HARWOOD: Let's talk about where you get revenue, which is very tough, obviously. Assume you need roughly $500 billion over 10 years. Is it clear, based on what your preference is and the White House being open to this option, that a majority of that money is going to come from limiting the employer exclusion?

Sen. BAUCUS: It's not clear. It's a little early yet. Before we get to the revenue, though, I think it's...

HARWOOD: The president is open to that.

Sen. BAUCUS: He is open to that, yes, he is. He is open to that. He told us he is open to that when many of us met with him just a couple days ago. But first, it's important, I think, for all of us to keep in mind that industries, health care industries, are going to do better, they're going to have increased revenue, if everybody has health insurance. The pharmaceuticals will, hospitals will, health insurance companies will, etc. And as a consequence, they're coming to us and saying, `Here's where we can cut. Here's where we can cut spending.' Otherwise, it goes to us, government spending. And they're talking in the neighborhood of $1.17 trillion. And I've spoken with the heads of these companies, and associations, and they're showing us real numbers. So the encouraging part here is that there will be some spending cuts that should be--that are correct and proper spending cuts. But there will have to be some revenue, if I anticipate, I think, your question.

HARWOOD: Yes. And Chairman Rangel has said he's opposed to curbing the exclusion. Can you see that--we know you can sell it in your Congress, right, that idea?

Sen. GRASSLEY: It's looked at as a favorable source, not just as revenue, though, but it's because of the exclusion, the way it works out, we end up subsidizing a lot of medical care that may be unnecessary medical care.

HARWOOD: Can you sell it in your...

Sen. BAUCUS: Well, the point is is Chairman Rangel's actually made a couple statements on that point. In fact, one of the more recent I've seen is that he's open to a provision. And the point that Senator Grassley's making is a good one, namely our current tax code tends to encourage, in fancy terms,overutilization. And if we're inclined to get control of our costs of our health care system, it probably makes sense not to encourage overutilization in health care, and that is unnecessary tests, unnecessary procedures. They really don't add to better health, it's just more stuff. And by putting some kind of a limitation, I think, makes some sense, and it's, I would say, a large majority of Democrats are also recognizing that it does make some sense. The limitation is just this, you get free health care. Now, it's free if you work for a company, up to a certain limit.

HARWOOD: Right.

Sen. BAUCUS: But behind that, it's taxable.

HARWOOD: So does...

Sen. BAUCUS: So clearly, we have to set the limit high enough so that it's fully...(unintelligible).

HARWOOD: Clearly, that will play a role in the...(unintelligible).

Sen. BAUCUS: It will play a role, it will.

HARWOOD: OK.

Sen. GRASSLEY: We want to stay away from the principle that we're subsidizing this overutilization.

HARWOOD: Right.

Sen. GRASSLEY: There's nothing wrong with the overutilization should the government be subsidizing. We feel they should not be subsidizing.

HARWOOD: The president proposed, as you know, a curb on deductions for high income earners.

Sen. BAUCUS: Correct.

HARWOOD: And there's been a lot of resistance to that.

Sen. BAUCUS: Correct.

HARWOOD: If charitable deductions were stripped out of that provision, you could still raise a good amount of money, is that a potential source of revenue?

Sen. BAUCUS: It's potential. I might say, though, that you talk to most senators in our committee, most of them would try to find their loophole closing, revenue would not, within the context of health care, not outside the context of health care.

HARWOOD: What do you think about...

Sen. BAUCUS: And when I talk to the president about this point, he's flexible, he's open. He just said, `Well, you know, please keep it on the table.' But he's flexible.

Sen. GRASSLEY: My caucus feels very strongly that the revenue, both from revenue saved as well as revenue raised, must come within the health care agenda.

HARWOOD: So that's a non--even if you took out charitable, that's a nonstarter from your side?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I believe so.

HARWOOD: And for you personally?

Sen. GRASSLEY: And here's another thing that's more important. You've got to think, we're raising revenue for health care. There's a lot of other things between now and the end of the year we've got to raise revenue for. So this isn't the only bite at the apple. We've got to save revenue for other things later on.

HARWOOD: Well, speaking of health related, there's been a lot of talk about alcohol excise taxes and potential soda tax or sweetened drink taxes. Are those dead or are those real-life possibilities for being part of a bill that you would...

Sen. GRASSLEY: I think those are nuisance taxes.

HARWOOD: Not health taxes?

Sen. GRASSLEY: Not health taxes.

Sen. BAUCUS: And I might say they're on life support.

HARWOOD: Yeah. They're not likely?

Sen. BAUCUS: They're not--they're not head of the list.

HARWOOD: So you would essentially see a revenue menu that would start with the exclusion and then broaden to loophole closure some of the things that have been talked about, flexible spending accounts, the Blue Cross break, state workers and the--some of the various tax provisions...(unintelligible).

Sen. BAUCUS: Those are--those are all in the mix. I mean, you've got to narrow it down to the general ball park of provisions, and you can also always, you know, the fancy term around here is dialed.

HARWOOD: Right.

Sen. BAUCUS: But there's different ways. But that's in the mix.

Sen. GRASSLEY: And I would agree with that. The only thing I would add is that my caucus feels that we ought to emphasis savings first before we talk about raising taxes. But I think most everybody believes that within this health context there can be some revenue raised.

HARWOOD: The president says he's committed to a deficit-neutral health care plan over 10 years and he's not looking for dramatic expansion of government spending at the expense of the deficit. Do you believe him?

Sen. GRASSLEY: Yes, I do. The reason I believe him is not necessarily because of what he said about health care but you look 10 years ahead to the tripling of the deficit and the hyperinflation that will come with it if the Fed doesn't shrink the amount of money in circulation, there's--it's devastating out there as you look. And so we've got to be very careful how we do this, and there's going to have to be come cutback in the future on a lot of other government programs, because we can't keep up this level of expenditure.

Sen. BAUCUS: Apart the president, I believe it, we believe it. The bill that we report out is going to going to be deficit-neutral. Has to be because we can't keep going deficit spending like we have been.

HARWOOD: Let me ask each of you how you see your role in this. Clearly, you reflect your caucus and your members, but you're also individual actors yourselves. I talked to Senator Packwood, your former colleague, earlier today. He said, you know, `There used to be a time when the chairman and the ranking member were the only players. Now, they're important players but they've got pressures on them from leadership that are greater than when I served.' Do you see yourself as essentially taking direction from Republican leaders on to what you're going to support or are you going to make your own decision?

Sen. GRASSLEY: On most things coming out of this committee, no. But in this particular instance, you know, Congress has never before passed a single piece of legislation that in one blow restructures 16 percent of the gross national product. And I think in order to get the broad bipartisan consensus we have to have, that's a broad part of the Republican Party as well as the Democrat Party.

HARWOOD: So that means you are going to take a lot of direction from Senator McConnell in deciding what to do?

Sen. GRASSLEY: Oh, my working group is the other nine Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee.

HARWOOD: The--you talk about broad support. My impression from other senators and staff is that the broadest base of support you could foresee for a bill that would pass would be about 10 Republicans. You'd get maybe up to 70 votes. Do you agree with that?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I'm leader of the Republican Caucus. A leader's got to have some followers. And 10 isn't a big enough following when you're restructuring one-sixth of the gross domestic product.

Sen. BAUCUS: Let me say, too, you know, it's interesting. There's not a lot of disagreement among senators agreeing what needs to be done. And we've talked about a lot of the reasons thus far. But there's another one which is not getting discussed, and that's it's imperative that we change the way we pay for health care in America. It's not to be a transformative and game changing, reimbursing doctors and hospitals based on quality, not quantity and volume. And that's a big game changer. And that will, over time, eliminate a large part of the waste that occurs in our system. As a consequence of, I think, more and more senators are starting to realize that hey, this is really the right solution that the Finance Committee is coming up with, by and large, and we've got to do it, because if we don't, we're going to rue the day we didn't. And therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the day, if there's a large--this passes with--by a fairly significant vote.

HARWOOD: Let me ask you, on your side, when it comes right down to the decisions at the very end, who's going to make the decisions in the Senate on health care, Max Baucus or Ted Kennedy?

Sen. BAUCUS: It's going to be a Senate decision. It's going to be myself, it's going to e others. And you know, a lot of--all the Senate, which is...

HARWOOD: But you note there's some disagreement, different way of seeing the issues, potential tension there.

Sen. BAUCUS: Oh, I don't see much difference, really. And I don't mean to be saying that for the sake of saying it. It's amazing the agreement about what has to be done in...

HARWOOD: Don't you have a substantial, different way of viewing public plan and how robust and large and central it is?

Sen. BAUCUS: No. No, no, no. No. We don't--that's--we're not there yet. We just don't know. I don't know what the Health Committee is going to come up with and--on that subject. I'm not quite sure what we're going to come up with on that subject. But I do think it's important that we work to get it beforehand so we have similar bills, so that when we write the one bill, it's on the Senate floor, we're not that far apart. But apart from that, we on the Finance Committee are very proud of our tradition. We're very proud of how hard we've worked together, Senator Grassley and I, to come up with a bipartisan bill. We meet weekly. We've been very good friends. We've worked as hard as we can to come up with a good principled solution. And I think we will. So at the end of the day, I'm going to do what I think is right. That's my challenge. I mean, that's my charge is do what I think is right.

HARWOOD: And when is a realistic time frame for both of you for when you think the Senate can approve a bill that you move?

Sen. BAUCUS: I think...

Sen. GRASSLEY: We're shooting for July.

Sen. BAUCUS: Yup.

Sen. GRASSLEY: ...for the--on the Senate floor.

HARWOOD: That's realistic?

Sen. BAUCUS: Yes, absolutely. We'll tell you about it.

Sen. GRASSLEY: Well, it's realistic from this standpoint. We've been on schedule so far and you know, a lot of things can happen. But right now we're on schedule, so let's leave it in the positive. We're on schedule.

HARWOOD: Is medical malpractice reform going to be a part of this bill?

Sen. BAUCUS: It's discussed but there's no significant medical malpractice provision yet that's seriously proposed. I don't know. It's doubtful, frankly, that there will be one.

Sen. GRASSLEY: It'd be very helpful to make it bipartisan, more bipartisan, if that could be included.

HARWOOD: Let me ask you about a couple of other issues before we wrap up. The first is energy legislation, which you know is moving in the House. That--you'll have some jurisdiction over that because of the revenues that would be raised by the carbon caps. Do you--do each of you see a bill that caps carbon emissions and either gives away the permits or sells the permits at auction? Is that feasible to pass the US Senate this year?

Sen. BAUCUS: Well, if there's a bill that comes to the Senate, and I suspect there probably will be, it's our job to, frankly, lower taxes, because a carbon tax--I mean, excuse me, cap in trade is effectively, it's a tax. So it's our job on the Finance Committee to make sure that the allowance portion of the bills aren't going to be a jurisdiction so that we can start lowering some taxes that people otherwise have to pay.

HARWOOD: Is that going to--do you feel strongly that that's going to become law, that health care will become law?

Sen. BAUCUS: Well, I feel--while they're both very, very important, it's clear to me that health care reform will pass this year. That is not in question.

HARWOOD: Not clear on energy?

Sen. BAUCUS: I'm hopeful on energy but I'm not as clear as I am on health care.

HARWOOD: What do you think?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I believe it's going to be next year. I believe the way the bill was compromised in the House of Representatives and with certain things that Senator Durbin has said about the Senate not having 60 votes yet, that it's a big lift yet for this year. Besides, we have two other main issues...

HARWOOD: But you think it can pass next year?

Sen. GRASSLEY: I don't know about next year. You were asking me about this year...

HARWOOD: Yeah.

Sen. GRASSLEY: ...and I'm confining my remarks to this year.

HARWOOD: The president's proposal on offshore tax havens, $210 billion over 10 years, there's been criticism of that from some major corporations that have operations in those offshore havens. What is the likelihood that that plan becomes law?

Sen. BAUCUS: Yeah, we're looking at all that, but frankly, we're--A, we're so busy this year with health care reform and maybe climate change legislation, that it's just--there are only so many days in the year. And second, I think that's going to be addressed much more likely in the context of overall tax reform, especially because...

HARWOOD: That's not a 2009 priority?

Sen. BAUCUS: That's not a 2009 issue. That's more--much more likely will be a 2010 issue.

Sen. GRASSLEY: It should only be addressed in the context of either dramatic reduction in the corporate tax or the complete change or our corporate tax to territorial regime.

HARWOOD: Let me close by asking it this way. Start with you, Senator Grassley. You were elected as part of the Reagan Revolution. Ronald Reagan was talking about paring back government, curbing government. And now you're negotiating what potentially would overhaul a large chunk of the American economy and the universal coverage plan. Talk a little bit about how you got to this point, that this is what you--this is the priority that you share with Senator Baucus, and whether that gives you any qualms as a product of the Reagan era to be supporting that bill?

Sen. GRASSLEY: Oh, it doesn't give me any qualms because you see the federal government's already involved in 45 percent of the delivery of health care in America. We want to make sure that that 45 percent is more efficiently delivered. It seems to me that's a good Republican principle. And when we're taking care of the uninsured, we're going to do that through private sector insurance. And it seems to me that that's a very good Republican principle. So I don't have to compromise anything.

HARWOOD: Senator, there's been a lot of talk about this bill being a legacy priority for Senator Kennedy, who of course is ill. Talk about what it means to you as somebody who's been here for 30 years, to get this done.

Sen. BAUCUS: Well, I think this--I feel very--first of all, we all regret Senator Kennedy's illness. I mean, it'd be great if he were here because he's sort of Mr. Health Care in so many ways. But I am very excited at the prospect of being here, and that to say, at a time when we as a country are going to pass meaningful spending and health care reform. This is--this is strategic. This isn't just putting a finger in a dike or patching up something else. This is transformative. This is game changing. This is big time. And it's going to enable us as a country to get a handle over our health care system. We don't a health care system today. But now we're going to finally put in place the kinds of provisions that will make it really work so we can be proud of what we have. That is we're getting rid of the waste and we're focusing much, much more on quality, quality care. Not quantity, quality, you know. So if--because more is not necessarily better. We're going to focus on quality care. So it's an exciting time to be here and that's why--I've never faced a challenge as difficult as this but I've never had as much fun as taking this on.

HARWOOD: And why should anyone who's aware of the history, 70 years in which people have tried to pass universal health care, certainly Democratic presidents, it's failed every time. Why is this time going to be different?

Sen. BAUCUS: Because the need's so great. It's much greater now than it ever has been in the past. Costs are just driving this country down the drain, in some respects. And if we don't tackle it now, average American family in seven to eight years is going to spend half of its income on health care.

Sen. GRASSLEY: There's only one time in the last 70 years that it's failed, and that was '93 or '94 or under the first Clinton. The mistake there was that we waited for a bill coming from the administration. This president is wise enough to refer--prefer Congress to bring up a bill, and I think we have a demonstrated need. So I wouldn't say there's been failures in the past, just mistakes made. And this is the furtherest this has gone through the Congress as a whole. Even in the Clinton administration it did not get this far in any committee.

HARWOOD: And it's over the goal line?

Sen. GRASSLEY: It will get over the goal line.

Sen. BAUCUS: And you know, what's different this time, too, is the way we're approaching it all. Over and over and over again, I have, and Senator Grassley has said, `OK, everybody at the table. This all--we're all in this together, nothing's off the table. We're just going to stay together. If you don't like something, suspend judgment for 15 minutes. Let's figure out how to get to yes. Just stay, we're going to work it out, we're going to work it out.' And groups are staying at the table because they know we have to pass it this year. They know the train's leaving the station, they know there's a sense of inevitability so we might as well be on the train. That's how it works out.

HARWOOD: So two weeks from now after you it scored by CBO, you're both going to walk out and be supporting a bill together?

Sen. BAUCUS: That's our goal.

Sen. GRASSLEY: That's our goal.

HARWOOD: Right. Is it going to happen?

Sen. BAUCUS: I--we'll see. That's right. We'll do our very best to make that happen.

Sen. GRASSLEY: All I can tell you is we've been on schedule so far.

HARWOOD: Thank you, Senators, for joining us. Appreciate it.

Sen. GRASSLEY: Thank you.

Sen. BAUCUS: Thank you.





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