Democrats search for GOP healthcare bill – The Hill
Three Senate Democrats have gone to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to search for the GOP healthcare bill as part of an effort to call attention to the fact that Republicans are writing their legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare behind closed doors.
Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Chris MurphyChris MurphyDemocrats search for GOP healthcare bill Dem senator: GOP using Russia, Scalise shooting as ‘cover’ for healthcare Live coverage: Senate Dems hold talkathon to protest GOP health plan MORE (Conn.) and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) took a cab from the Capitol to the CBO to try to look at parts of the healthcare reform bill that Republicans asked the CBO to analyze.
The three put their trip on video, and are live streaming the stunt.
“We’re going to see if we can get the Republican healthcare bill. Do you know anything about that?” Booker asks his cab driver at one point.
“Well, right now people are voting on healthcare for the United States of America and we don’t have a copy of the bill. We’re United States senators, and we’re going to vote on the bill within days, and we just don’t have a copy of the bill.”
After a closed door meeting with the CBO director and deputy director, Murphy told reporters: “News flash: We didn’t get the bill.”Murphy said he was told the analysis of the bill would be released once the bill was made public.
“This is really pointing out the absurdity of it all,” Booker said of the trip. “I’m at my wit’s end.”
Senate leadership is aiming to have a vote on its healthcare bill before the July 4 recess, but no bill text has been released.
Parts of the bill have been sent to the CBO for an analysis, including proposed structures of a healthcare tax credit.
Republicans say they’re not doing anything secretive and the public and Senate will have enough time to review the bill before a vote.
GOP Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerGOP senator: ObamaCare repeal bill coming Thursday Democrats search for GOP healthcare bill No. 2 Senate Republican: ‘We’re going to have 50 votes’ on healthcare MORE (Tenn.) said Tuesday he expects senators to be briefed on the bill Wednesday with legislation coming out Thursday.
It’s unclear, however, if the legislation is going to all senators or just GOP senators. And it’s unclear if it will be released directly to the public.
Republicans are using special budget rules to pass their healthcare bill and prevent Democrats from using the filibuster against it.
As a result, they do not need a single Democratic vote to pass their legislation. Walking around downtown D.C., Murphy opined about Democrats getting “shut down” as Republicans try to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if we haven’t been shut down in every way possible by Republicans,” Murphy said. “This is the only way we’re going to get our hands on this piece of legislation.”
Democrats are pulling out all the stops in trying to make the process as difficult as possible for Republicans.
They invoked a procedural rule Tuesday that allows them to object to committees meeting beyond two hours after the Senate comes into session.
As a result, all committees scheduled Tuesday have been canceled.
“As we’ve made clear to our Republican colleagues, if they continue to insist on ramming through a secret health care bill without any public input or debate, they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerDems step up attacks on GOP ObamaCare bill Live coverage: Senate Dems hold talkathon to protest GOP health plan GOP exploiting Virginia shooting in Georgia election MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.