Obamacare Repeal Markup Filled With ‘Secret Amendments’
During the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committees markup of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill, Ranking Member Frank Pallone said Democrats planned to put forward hundreds of amendments, most of which haven’t been made public.
Democrats have been working to drag out the process in both Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Ways and Means, calling for the entire bill to be read out loud and requesting additional time for opening statements. Republicans quickly shot down a motion to delay the markup to delay the markup for 30 says earlier in the day.
While Democrats called for transparency in the process, the text of most of the alleged amendments remains unavailable. The committee has a rule in place requiring two-hours of notice before an amendment can be considered, meaning debate, which started in the early evening, could last days if members in the minority follow through with their plan.
“It’s hard for me to consider how long we are going to be here until we know what your amendments are,” Walden said while inquiring how many they planned to put forward.
“I think we have about 100 amendments,” Pallone responded.
The first four Democratic amendments brought up were designed to troll Republicans, including language to strike a title of the The American Health Care Act and replace it with”THE REPUBLICAN PAY MORE FOR LESS CARE ACT,” and forcing the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Republicans blasted the move as an unnecessary waste of time and taxpayer dollars.
“The Energy and Commerce Committee has wasted valuable hours that should have been spent considering amendments on cheap stall tactics that Democrats are using to prevent members from doing their taxpayer funded jobs,” Energy and Commerce Communications Director Zach Hunter said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “On top of that, Ranking Member Pallone admitted hours ago that Democrats are refusing to make public hundreds amendments that the American people deserve to see. Energy and Commerce Republicans came to take the first step in keeping our promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare and are ready to get to work.”
— Zach Hunter (@zhunterDC) March 8, 2017
Democrats argued the markup shouldn’t take place without the Congressional Budget Office numbers, to which Republicans pointed out the Affordable Care Act didn’t have when it made it out of committee.
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