The secrecy behind the GOP Senate leadership's draft of the health care bill is hard to believe.
The language of the Senate's version of the American Health Care Act — which GOP leadership wants to pass before Congress leaves town for the July 4 recess — is so closely guarded that Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah doesn't even know what's in it.
Reporter asks what's in Senate health bill, saying public doesn't know.— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) June 15, 2017
"Well join the crowd. I'm in the same category," says Orrin Hatch.
Axios reported earlier this week that Senate leadership had no intention of making the bill public any time soon, and its contents remain one of the biggest mysteries on Capitol Hill, but this latest development is a big deal.
Hatch is obviously not some freshman senator who speaks and votes as he's told. As president pro tempore, he's the second highest-ranking Republican in the Senate after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He also chairs the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care legislation. Finally, the title of president pro tempore also makes him third in the line of presidential succession, behind the speaker of the House.
And yet, he tells reporters that even he's been kept in the dark about what kind of health care bill the upper chamber plans to vote on.
So the question is, with no clear answers in sight: Who HAS seen this bill? And when is the American public going to know what's in it and how it's going to affect them?
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Hometown allies are defending the congressman, despite the overwhelming evidence.
Democrats are trying to take Franken's case to the place where allegations go to die.
"They're slamming it to millions of Americans ... because they will not cut government."