1:58 PM EST
John S. McCain III, R-AZ

Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I am pleased to see my friends on the floor again today--very intelligent people, such as the Senator from New Hampshire and my friend, Senator Enzi, who is an expert on this issue, and the rest of us who know that a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed. I look forward to another spirited discussion with my colleagues.

Maybe if I could, to start with, I will take up a point about the debate and discussion we had yesterday on the floor with the Senator from Montana, the chairman of the committee, where he asked me why did I think that certain groups supported this legislation pending before the Senate. I said I didn't know what kinds of deals had been cut. I referred to the deal made with PhRMA and others. I didn't know exactly why because I am not taken into the discussions and negotiations off the floor in

the office of the majority leader.

There seems to have been some blowback on that, and somebody said maybe that wasn't appropriate to talk about deals that were cut. This morning, on the front page of the Washington Post, it says:

Deals Cut with Health Groups May Be at Peril.

Perhaps the Washington Post is impugning the reputation of someone or staffers or others. They have certainly impugned mine from time to time. But the fact is, this is a news story.

Again, I go back, very briefly, because we have a lot to talk about, my colleagues and I. The fact is, there have been deals cut, just like is reported in the Washington Post this morning, as has been reported all over America about the deals cut with various interest groups that don't necessarily represent the people they claim to represent. I know the American Medical Association does not represent the majority of physicians and caregivers. In the State of Arizona, I know too many of them.

I also know they have a very large lobbying presence in our Nation's Capitol, as do the other interested groups that have ``cut deals'' that may be at peril now, according to the Washington Post.

With that, I will mention, again, that the doctor is in. Would the doctor care to give us some enlightened information, before we give our various opinions on this issue?