Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blasted Senate Republicans for blaming Democrats for the failure of their health care bill after locking them out of the negotiation process.
He said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made clear from the beginning that Republicans intended to pass the bill without Democratic votes or input — so his complaints about obstructionism rang hollow.
“The party leader admitted that he decided the matter for us when he locked Democrats out of the process at the outset,” Schumer said. “Now that their one-party effort has largely failed, we hope they will change their tune.”
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have joined McConnell in calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, but Schumer warned Republicans that would be disastrous.
“Make no mistake about it — passing repeal without a replacement would be a disaster,” Schumer said. “Our health care system would implode. Millions would lose coverage, coverage for millions more would be diminished. Our health care system would be in such a deep hole that repair would be nearly impossible.”
He called out by name Republicans who rejected the repeal-and-delay proposal at the beginning of the year — including Sen. Jack Cassidy (R-LA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Rand Paul (R-KY).
“I would tell all of those colleagues the deal hasn’t magically gotten better with age,” Schumer said.
He said the plan backed by the White House and GOP leadership is worse than the bill Republican senators just rejected.
“Passing a deal now is not a door to bipartisan solutions, as the majority leader suggested this morning,” Schumer said. “Rather, it is a disaster. The door to bipartisanship is open right now — not with repeal, but with an effort to improve the existing system. The door is open right now, the Republican leadership only needs to walk right through it.”
Chuck Schumer calls out Republican senators "who said repeal and then replace later doesn't work." pic.twitter.com/0Zwme2GQ8V
— Axios (@axios) July 18, 2017
Sen. Chuck Schumer on health care: “The door to bipartisanship is open right now… Republican leadership only needs to walk through it.” pic.twitter.com/zWYa71jrPL
— CNN (@CNN) July 18, 2017