With demands the American people be shown the bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood with his Democratic colleagues in the Senate on Monday night to “hold the floor” as a way to draw attention to Republicans efforts to rush through their Trumpcare legislation under cover of darkness.
Critics of the Republicans say their repeal and replace bill is nothing more than a massive tax break for the wealthy that would also strip healthcare coverage from millions of Americans while making it worse for nearly everyone.
As Sanders tweeted: “The truth is that this is not a ‘health care’ bill. This is a ‘tax breaks for the rich and multinational corporations’ bill.” And: “This health care bill will impact millions and millions of Americans. Yet we have not had one hearing. Republicans should be embarrassed.”
Outside groups like MoveOn.org, Indivisible, and Planned Parenthood Action have all been rallying against the Republican plan and urging Democrats to escalate their opposition.
“Congress wants to take away our health care—we can’t let it happen,” said Planned Parenthood Action in a message to its members on Monday. And Indivisible tweeted: “By shutting down the Senate, @ are drawing more attention to the secrecy and speed with which the GOP’s # is moving.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
“What are you afraid of?” Sanders asked Senate Republicans during his remarks on the floor late Monday night. “Healthcare constitutes one-sixth of the U.S. economy. It impacts every man, woman, and child in our nation and yet we have thirteen Republicans—all men—working behind closed doors to produce legislation that will be brought to the United States Senate at the last moment so the American people won’t know the disaster that it is.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Monday it was obvious that “Republicans are writing their healthcare bill under the cover of darkness because they are ashamed of it.”
During his remarks from the Senate floor Monday night, Schumer challenged Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconsider efforts to rush the bill towards a vote ahead of the upcoming July 4th recess. If Republicans refuse to relent, however, Schumer said Democrats would do everything in their power to hinder McConnell’s “dark” and “hidden” process.
“This radical departure from normal procedure on a bill of such consequence leaves the Senate minority little choice but to depart from normal procedure as well,” Schumer said. “If the Republicans won’t debate their healthcare in the open for the American people to see, they shouldn’t expect business as usual.”
In her remarks, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) pushed aside the reluctance shown by some Democratic members—those who reportedly worry that too much obstruction might hurt them politically—by saying her constituents expect her to fight tooth and nail against the Republican plan which she called “unconscionable.” Voters in her state, said Corto Masto, tell her the same thing over and over: “Please, do not take away my healthcare.” It is time, she continued, for Republicans to come clean and stop hiding from the American people. “Now, more than ever,” she said, “we need transparency.”
Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.