Senate GOP leaders told reporters that they should be ready on Thursday to publicly release a revised plan to overhaul the Obama health law, even as some Republican Senators acknowledged their concern about the development of the bill, which has taken place behind closed doors and with no public hearings.
“I expect to have a discussion draft on Thursday,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, saying consideration of the health care bill on the Senate floor was “likely next week.”
“For weeks now we’ve been in intense discussions with all Republican Senators,” McConnell said, defending the decision to proceed without any public hearings on the GOP proposal – the details of which remain secret.
Before the Senate can take a health care vote, the Congressional Budget Office would need to “score” the bill, and issue that review; many expect that to happen by early next week.
“Everybody will have an adequate time to take a look at it,” McConnell told reporters gathered just off the Senate floor. “I think this will be about as transparent as it could be.”
Democrats disagree with that, as for a second straight day, they filled the Senate floor with speeches denouncing the process by which the GOP bill is being cobbled together.
“The same Republicans now think it’s fine for their health care bill to be written behind closed doors without a single committee hearing,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Using social media to broadcast their arguments, several Democrats went over to the Congressional Budget Office to ask to see the GOP bill – but were not handed the keys to the Republican legislative vehicle.
Instead, they will have to wait – along with most Republican Senators – to see the bill later this week.
For now, the only question is can Republicans hold their votes in line; the GOP cannot lose more than two Senators on the health care bill.