After weeks of closed-door congressional cat herding, Senate leadership’s, super-duper top-secret Obamacare bill is going to make its grand debut this Thursday morning, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Tuesday.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 20, 2017
NEWS: McConnell says Senate GOP will have a “discussion draft” of health bill on Thursday.
— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) June 20, 2017
Health bill coming THURSDAY MORNING, says McConnell.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) June 20, 2017
Making the case that forthcoming legislative efforts will be “transparent as could be” and blaming Democrats for his party’s secrecy, McConnell also said Tuesday that senators will have “plenty of time” to read the bill before a long-anticipated vote on the measure which could come as early as next week.
And while Senate Democrats have been loudly critical of leadership’s secrecy, even some republicans are taking issue with how the bill came to be.
In a Tuesday afternoon Facebook video, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah – one of the few conservatives on the bill’s working group – vented some of his frustrations with how the details of the measure have been thus far kept under lock and key.
“I haven’t seen [the bill] yet, either,” Lee says in the post, “even though I’ve been a member of this working group among Senate Republicans, assigned to help narrow some of the focus of this.”
“Even though we thought we were going to be in charge of writing a bill in this working group, it’s not being written by us,” the senator continued. “It’s apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate.”
“So, if you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration,” Lee said. “The American people need and deserve to be able to see legislation as it moves through the Senate.”
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., also lamented leadership’s lack of transparency earlier in the day, telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
“I don’t want to prejudge, and, you know, I would have liked, as you already know, for this to be a more open process and to have committee hearings, but that’s not what we’re doing. At the end of the day, that doesn’t preclude my responsibilities as a senator to either vote yes or no based on the substance that’s in it.”
GOP leadership is also taking some historical flak for being so squirrely with the legislation, given how loudly several of them decried Senate Democrats’ lack of transparency in drafting Obamacare’s now-collapsing original framework back in 2010.
On Monday night’s Capitol Hill Brief, I delved into how secret this process has been, and why it’s so important for Congress to do business out in the open.
Senate leadership is keeping their health care bill under lock and key; don’t you deserve to know what’s in it?
Posted by CRTV on Monday, June 19, 2017