Lawmakers Hunt The Capitol For An Obamacare Bill Moved Between Secret Locations

Calvin SaundersMar 04, 2017

Republicans' effort to craft an Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement took a odd turn Thursday, with one prominent GOP senator staging a public quest to obtain a closely guarded draft of bill from the House. They literally can not find it.

It was a rare bipartisan stunt, inspired by the unusual secrecy surrounding the GOP's bill.

Sen. Paul said, "I have been told that the House Obamacare bill is under lock & key, in a secure location, & not available for me or the public to view".

House GOP leaders have reportedly come up with their new version of the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill but kept it under wraps.

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Rand Paul holds an impromptu press conference outside where the room where the bill was supposed to be.

Sengenberger asked Gardner if he had been "MIA" for protesters who want to besiege him at town halls in Colorado, as they've done with other senators across the country.

"Right now the House leadership is suppressing the details, the negotiations that are ongoing about Obamacare and what replacement may be", Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said Friday on "America Talks Live". "I know you are as upset with your party as I am", he said. Rand Paul of Kentucky staged a protest outside, because he wants to scrap Obamacare entirely and do away with subsidies.

As reporters began to congregate outside McMorris Rodgers' office, the Washington Republican's deputy chief of staff, Nate Hodson, quickly sensed a public relations crisis and opened the room to Democratic congressmen and reporters. "Has anyone seen the bill?"

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Walker, who also serves as the chair of the Republican Study Committee, said he would not support a draft of an Obamacare repeal bill leaked last week.

Maybe it's a coincidence, but Politico has also gotten its hands on what is purported to be the latest draft of the House Obamacare repeal plan, and it shows few if any concessions to right-wing objections. Many Republicans, though, are reluctant to vote for a tax increase - a sure way to invite challengers in primary elections.

The sought-after draft bill is the part of the Republican health care effort being written by the Energy and Commerce Committee, with the Ways and Means panel putting together another chunk. They contend Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price can do some of the work administratively, and say they can attach other pieces to unrelated legislation. "We are continuing to work on drafting and refining legislative language to provide relief from a failing law". The plan calls for rolling back much of the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with tax credits for people who purchase health insurance based on age.

President Trump: "My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone". Brady seemed to hint that, even with staffers tweaking the bill to appease conservatives, its future in the Senate was uncertain.

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