Democratic Slumber Party Part VI: Seizing The Senate Floor Over Obamacare Repeal

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While Democrats lack the votes to stop Republicans from passing their health care bill, objecting to unanimous consent requests would mean roll-call votes are required for matters such as allowing any Senate committee of any kind to meet for more than two hours.

"Republicans are drafting this bill in secret because they're ashamed of it, plain and simple", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement.

Whether the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month, offers an effective repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - affectionately known as Obamacare - is the subject of much debate as the Senate takes up another attempt to deal with the failed health care fiasco.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to openly discuss the plans. Rubio said he didn't have a problem with a small group working on the first draft, but that "the Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote on the floor".

But let's not brush past the significance of McConnell's other talking point: Senate Republicans, he said, are "operating kind of as a committee of the whole".

Although the House narrowly passed its own healthcare legislation, the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), last month, the Senate immediately chose to draft its own bill rather than take up the AHCA.

The strategy is a 180-degree shift from the Republican position during the 2009-2010 debate on Barack Obama's health care reforms, when the party demanded transparency at every step of the extended process. The NRSC says the event was planned to benefit the election campaign of Sen. Restrictions on abortion funding in the House bill are opposed by at least two Senate Republicans - Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - but if stripped out could thwart House approval of a final measure.


Democrats are quick to point out that the Affordable Care Act was debated openly with dozens of public hearings and amendments over the course of a almost a year before they brought the bill to a vote.

"All we need are three Republicans to drop off and we can kill it", said Levin, whose organization was created to defeat Trump's agenda and works through a network of over 5,800 local grassroots groups.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has said he would like to hold a vote before the chamber leaves for a week-long recess over the Fourth of July holiday.

That's led to complaints from a few Republicans and fury from Democrats.

Democrats are weighing a strategy to get more public attention on the debate in the next two weeks, said Matt House, spokesman for Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY, but he declined to discuss details.

Some moderate GOP senators are trying to extend the phase-out over seven years and ease some of the Medicaid cuts the House bill would make. They then listed all of the rooms available in Senate Office buildings for them to schedule a health care hearing. Other lawmakers also expressed frustration about the line from Trump, according to the report.

"I mean I learn more from you all", she said to reporters. Democrats plan to speak until at least midnight to raise awareness of what Republicans would prefer to do in the dark of night.

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