Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Dems' motions, speeches knock GOP health bill for secrecy

Tactics will include procedural maneuvers that will disrupt routine order and late-night floor speeches demanding greater transparency.

As Democrats prepared for battle over the Senate bill, conservative House Republicans planned to send a letter to McConnell warning against letting the legislation get too moderate if he wants to keep support from the House after it passed the Senate.

On Monday night, Democrats will "begin objecting to all unanimous consent requests", according to a senior Senate Democratic aide.

The CBO's analysis is expected on June 26 - four days before the Senate leaves for its July 4 recess - and Axios reported Monday that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is determined to schedule a vote on the bill by the end of next week.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that the moves are created to shed a light on the bill because the secretive process shows Republicans are "ashamed of it, plain and simple".

"If Republicans won't relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see, then they shouldn't expect business as usual in the Senate", Schumer added.

On Twitter, response has been typically divided.

"This is a bill that would likely reorder one-sixth of the American economy and have life-and-death consequences for millions of Americans, and it's being discussed in secret with no committee hearings, no debate, no amendments, no input from the minority", he said.

To be sure, there's nothing guaranteed in the Democrats' strategy here, but as the minority party, they are aiming to inflict maximum political damage on their opposition in the hopes of flipping at least three GOP Senators in a last-ditch effort to salvage what's left of Obamacare.

My constituents, even though they're represented by Democrats, have no less rights than the citizens of Iowa or the citizens of Texas who are represented by Republicans.

The Democrats plan to put up a united front to try to block all "routine requests to let the chamber operate", down to committee hearing scheduling and vote scheduling procedures.

There were private talks between Reid and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after the late Sen.

Premera Blue Cross, the only insurer that offered coverage under the ACA exchanges in six Washington counties, said it was pulling out from two rural counties - thus affecting an estimated 3,350 people. That December, Reid used closed-door meetings to craft a final package using elements from differing measures approved by his chamber's finance and health committees. And I should think that every Republican should be embarrassed by this, and I know that many of them are embarrassed by it.

However, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, said last week that his party would need more time to pass a viable replacement for Obamacare. The bill needs a simple majority to pass in the Senate before it can go on to the president and potentially become law.

As Democrats made a series of motions that McConnell turned aside, Schumer twice asked the GOP leader to ensure Democrats they will have more than 10 hours to study the bill before the vote.

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