Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Less than seventy-two hours after Republicans released the text of their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act – which would force Americans to pay more for less – Republicans are rushing the bill through the legislative process in order to hide what they’re doing from the American people:
- Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee passed their bill in the dead of night, voting at 4:30 a.m.
- Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are still debating the bill after 26 hours without a break – considering a majority of the bill late at night and early in the morning when the public wasn’t watching.
Rushing their repeal bill through the legislative process is far from the openness and transparency they promised the American people:
- There have been no hearings on the bill.
- There have been no witnesses to testify about the bill.
- And there is no analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on how much the bill will cost taxpayers or how many Americans will lose their health care.
Republicans talked a lot about transparency and an open process when the Affordable Care Act was considered, arguing the bill was rushed – even though Democrats held 79 bipartisan hearings and markups, hearing from 181 witnesses from both sides of the aisle, and posted the original bill online 30 days before the first Committee began their markup.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “Congress is moving fast to rush through a health care overhaul that lacks a key ingredient: the full participation of you, the American people.” [Journal Sentinel Op-ed, 7/19/09]
Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR): “On a bill of this significance… you would think we would at least allow people to come in who are affected by the extraordinary changes in this bill and have a chance to let us know how it affects them.” [Committee Hearing, 7/09]
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX): “The Democratic Congress and White House simply aren't listening… Democrats are ramming it through over the public’s objections.” [Press release, 3/17/10]
In fact, Republicans promised the American people they would pursue an open and transparent process with their Pledge to America:
“No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents, and the public.”
Yet, in a stunning reversal, Republicans are now ramming their bill through committee:
“The critical House Ways and Means Committee gave a pre-dawn approval Thursday morning to a major part of the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, moving Republicans a step closer toward a full vote on the measure over the growing opposition of senators, health care providers and some conservatives. The Ways and Means Committee finished approving its portion of the legislation after 4 a.m., nearly 18 hours after it began its work on Wednesday.” [New York Times, 3/9/17]
“The House Ways and Means Committee voted 23 to 16 to advance the American Health Care Act shortly before 4:30 a.m. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) called the move historic and praised President Trump.” [Washington Post, 3/9/17]
House Republicans are hiding this bill from the American people because they know that once Americans find out what’s in this bill, they will strongly oppose it.