Senators from both parties are starting to resent the health care bill secrecy

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to open up

By Matthew Rozsa
June 16, 2017 6:38PM (UTC)
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP)

The secrecy of the Senate Republicans' health care bill is causing bipartisan consternation.

This should probably have been expected from the Senate Democrats, whose Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., recently sent an impassioned letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pleading for openness.


"On behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus, I write to request that you and the Republican Conference attend an all-Senators meeting next week on the topic of health care," Schumer writes. "Now, more than ever, Republicans and Democrats need to come together to find solutions to America's challenges."

After stressing how the health care legislation will impact millions of Americans and reminding McConnell — who he informally refers to as simply "Mitch" — that "the U.S. Senate has long been considered the world's greatest deliberate body," Schumer said that the Democrats were "dismayed at the reports that there will be no public hearings on your proposed changes to the American health care system."

Schumer also tried to warn Senate Democrats earlier this week by stating in a speech that "in a very short time, maybe only two weeks, the Republican majority may try to jam through a health care bill that no one in America has seen."


There are many Republicans who have publicly expressed sentiments similar to Schumer's. According to The Washington Post, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee observed that "the process is better if you do it in public, and that people get buy-in along the way and understand what’s going on,” Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin noted that "seems like around here, the last step is getting information, which doesn’t seem to be necessarily the most effective process,” and Sen. John McCain of Arizona said that his level of comfort with the process was "none."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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