The Senate Republicans are currently writing up a revised version of the unpopular American Health Care Act and have no plans to share the details of that plan with the public until it’s ready for voting.
“We aren’t stupid,” a GOP Senate aide told Axios. “We are still in discussions about what will be in the final product so it is premature to release any draft absent further member conversations and consensus.”
Democratic Senators have criticized their Republican counterparts for their secrecy in drafting the healthcare bill, which the GOP wants to vote on before Congress goes on recess prior to the Fourth of July.
According to Axios, this means the bill could be voted on before the Congressional Budget Office is able to score the new bill as that process takes around two weeks. The House-passed ACHA went to vote and was later excoriated by a brutal CBO score.
However, GOP sources are wondering aloud about whether they are rushing the bill since it could well fail if voted on so quickly. Per CNN:
Republicans are attempting to use the so-called budget reconciliation process, which would allow them to avoid a Democratic filibuster. With only 52 Republicans in the Senate, however, there is no room for error as leaders struggle with the daunting task of finding consensus between their caucus’ moderate and conservative flanks on such a deeply divisive issue.
Negotiations over the bill’s content are still ongoing among the GOP, where some want to keep some Obamacare protections, like a key one for people with pre-existing conditions.
“It might be that McConnell knows he can’t get to 50 [votes] so he’s going as far left as possible to give moderates cover when they do vote for this bill,” one conservative Senate aide told CNN.
Further, the sources say, if the GOP spends too much time on healthcare, other legislative agenda items like tax reform will fall by the wayside.