McConnell instead tapped Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), ranking Finance Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee member John McCain (R-Ariz.), and the Senate’s only two physicians — Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).Democrats:
GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) are also attending and were previously invited. Enzi is the ranking Republican on the HELP Committee, of which Coburn is also a member.
McConnell spokesman Don Stewart had no immediate comment on Gregg’s exclusion, but did say that dozens of GOP senators had lobbied to be invited.
Asked about McConnell's choice not to invite him, Gregg declined to comment. “You'd have to ask Sen. McConnell,” he said.
The Senate’s Democratic attendees to the summit include Reid, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Conference Secretary Patty Murray (Wash.), Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.), Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (Conn.), HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (Iowa), Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care Chairman Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) and Conrad.The meeting is Thursday at 10 am eastern.
The White House originally invited 21 members of Congress — 12 Democrats and nine Republicans — along with aides and representatives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional Budget Office, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Office of Health Reform Director Nancy DeParle.