Republican senators believe they will get their first look this week at the health care bill their senior leaders have been working on for months. Party leadership is attempting to move towards a vote before they take their July 4 recess.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., revealed that all 52 Republican senators have been summoned to a meeting Wednesday with the sole purpose of discussing how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“I think we have an all-senators meeting, all-Republican senators meeting tomorrow to begin talking about it a little bit more deeply,” Corker said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday.
A small group of GOP senators has kept the plan under wraps, working behind closed doors on a plan they hope will gain House and Senate approval.
Democrats spent six-hours in a “talk-a-thon” on the Senate floor Monday night, highlighting the Republicans’ crafting of the bill without public debate, public hearings, or any available details of what could be in the legislation.
Democrats have promised to slow all GOP initiatives because of the stealth nature of the health care plan.
It’s not just Democrats complaining, some Republican members have complained about the closed process, GOP leaders are defending it.
“As soon as we get to see the final product, we get it scored by the Congressional Budget Office, then we’ll have literally a vote-a-rama where there will be an opportunity to debate in a fulsome and comprehensive sort of way an opportunity to offer dozens, if not hundreds, of amendments to the bill. And we’ll vote, we’ll vote, that’s what we do,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip, on the Senate floor. “There’s nothing happening in secret here.”
Among Republicans working on the bills are Sens. Mike Enzi, head of the Budget Committee, Lamar Alexander, chair of the Health Committee, Orrin Hatch, chair of the Finance Committee, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The group has been sending portions of the bill to the Congressional Budget Office to assess its cost and impact. However, they are providing only one to two days of active scoring instead of the typical ten to 14 days typically given for scoring an entire piece of unseen legislation.
Among the bill’s most highly attacked features are likely cuts that will directly affect the poor and elderly.
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