This. Is. How Democracy. Dies.
They won’t allow anyone (even their fellow Senators) to see what is in the bill. They won’t allow any input from patients or doctors or their constituents. Last month a reporter asking about the bill by was assaulted by a GOP Rep (who has now pled guilty). And today they announced a ban against reporters in the Senate hallways - hallways that we we paid with our tax dollars.
Call Your Senator: https://5calls.org/issue/recJfyyL7LE0Ez4ys
“News on Tuesday that on-camera interviews might be significantly curtailed within the Capitol is an on-the-nose manifestation of something that had otherwise not attracted a lot of attention: The Republican effort to replace Obamacare was being put together almost entirely outside of the public’s ability to see what was happening.
When White House press secretary Sean Spicer first addressed the Republican health-care bill that would eventually pass the House last month, he was effusive that his party’s caucus on Capitol Hill would do things differently.
“One of the things that’s important to understand about this process, that’s very different from when the Democrats did it,” Spicer said, referring to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
“Everybody can read it, and it’s going to go through what they call ‘regular order,’” he said. “We’re not jamming this down anybody’s throat. It’s going to go through a committee process. All parties involved, all representatives in the House will be able to have input into it. I think that’s the way to conduct this process, is to do it to allow people to watch the process happen in the committees, allow members of Congress to have their input in it, to make amendments, to see that we get the best bill that achieves the goal for the American people.”
He blamed the Democratic secrecy he was maligning for the final shape of the bill. “When it was done the last time, it was jammed down people’s throats. And look what happened,” he said.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan made similar commitments. But that’s not at all how the Republican bill has unfolded.
After rushing the original version through committee in the House and getting an unfavorable assessment of its effects from the Congressional Budget Office, Republican leaders realized they didn’t have the votes for their bill, the American Health Care Act, to pass……
It was generally assumed that the bill didn’t have much of a chance in the Senate. But that was before a small group of senators began working in private to develop a bill that might pass that body. And when we say “in private,” that’s underselling the point.
Only a small group of senators know what’s in the bill. An aide to one of the Republican senators working on it told Axios that no draft would be released because “we aren’t stupid” — meaning, apparently, that they knew better than to open up the bill to public criticism before the vote. The plan, apparently, is to send the bill to the CBO for a score before it is then released to the public.”
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