Senator Searches for Secret Republican Healthcare Bill on Senate Floor

Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is looking all over the U.S. Senate for the Republican healthcare reform proposal. So far, he has been unsuccessful.

Prior to giving a speech on the Senate floor about the importance of funding Medicaid, Sen. King made a show of looking around the area for the Republicans’ controversial healthcare overhaul, which has been negotiated in total secrecy.

SENATOR JONI ERNST (R-IOWA): The Senator from Maine.

SENATOR ANGUS KING (I-MAINE): Just a moment, Madam President. I’m looking for the healthcare bill.

ERNST: Mm-hmm.

KING: I know it’s here somewhere. I haven’t been able to find it, I’ve been looking all morning. Uh, but I suspect we’ll maybe find it in the next couple of days.

Ever since the House Republicans’ passage of the American Health Care Act legislation, and the Senate’s immediate decision afterward to draft their own version without considering the House version, the contents of the Republican proposal have remained unknown to everyone other than the 13 Senators drafting it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has set a goal of having a vote on the proposal prior to the July 4 recess. The bill has yet to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and no public hearings have been held on the bill itself with less than two weeks to go before senators head back to their home states.

The lack of transparency surrounding Republicans’ attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has even frustrated other Republican senators, including Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). In March, Sen. Paul led reporters around the U.S. Capitol in a frantic search for the Republican healthcare proposal, but to no avail.

“The only copy we’ve seen is from the media,” Sen. Paul said at the time. “And now we’re told it’s being classified and the hearing is like a security clearance hearing – you have to have security clearance and permission and have to be on the committee to see the bill.”

Watch the moment below:


Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.