US Senate Democrats took to the floor this week seeking to shed light on the behind-the-scenes efforts from the GOP majority to pass their Trumpcare bill which looks to begin repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Democrats engaged in floor motions, inquiries and speeches to criticize the closed-door meetings that Republicans have been holding to craft their new version of the Trumpcare bill, and called for open committee hearings and more time to consider the bill before a vote.
Republicans have said they are looking to vote on the bill within the next 2 weeks, though a draft bill has yet to emerge.
The moves are only intended to bring attention to the Republican process, as the Democrats in the senate lack the votes to derail or change the process. Senators are not specifically obligated to hold open meetings, but Democrats referenced lengthy committee meetings and days of debate over the Obamacare legislation before it was passed in 2010.
Multiple democrats have moved for the healthcare legislation to be referred to Senate committees for hearings, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has refused.
McConnell said all Republican senators have been involved to some degree in healthcare meetings and that Democrats would have a chance to amend the legislation they produce, once it is brought to the Senate floor.
“We’re going to have a meeting on the Senate floor, all hundred of us, with an unlimited amendment process. So there will be no failure of opportunity,” McConnell said.
Earlier this week, Democratic Senators were considering a blockade next week in protest of the GOP’s Trumpcare healthcare reform bill, according to a CNN report.
The group is reportedly planning the move to prevent the chamber from conducting business as usual as they demand a more open process as the Senate works on it’s version of the House-cleared Trumpcare bill.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.