FEEL THE block.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday urged Democrats in the Senate to do anything necessary — possibly including shutting down day-to-day business — to thwart the GOP’s secretive work on its health care bill.
“I believe Democrats should do everything they can to oppose that legislation in any way that we can,” the Vermont independent told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
On that show and CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders did nothing to downplay the possibility that Democrats might halt all congressional work to oppose the Republican bill.
Deeming it “the worst piece of legislation” he had seen in his 26-year career in Congress, Sanders ruled out no option for Democrats to fight back as Republicans rush to finish the bill behind closed doors.
“They want to keep it secret. They don’t want the media involved, they don’t want members of Congress involved,” the 2016 “Feel the Bern” presidential candidate told “Face the Nation.”
“At the last minute present it, they push it through, and that is one-sixth of the American economy and millions of people thrown off of health insurance. That unacceptable.”
Sanders’ fiery remarks came a day after CNN reported Senate Democrats were weighing whether to shut down chamber business this week as a form of protest.
The is Senate is they now considering the Obamacare replacement bill that narrowly passed in the House last month, despite nearly universal opposition from health care advocates and organizations.
The House bill would scrap Obamacare coverage in favor of tax credits intended to help citizens pay for their health care. But the credits would mostly benefit wealthy Americans, while most middle class and poor citizens would barely receive enough credit to cover most health care costs. The bill also calls for an $880 billion cut to Medicaid.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated it would deprive 23 million people of health care in the next decade.
The bill is expected to face vast overhauls in the Senate, and Republican are hoping to pass it before Congress begins a July 4 recess. But Republicans have been tinkering with the legislation in secret — keeping the Dems and the public from knowing its changes.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday that everyone in the Senate is “going to get to weigh in” on the final text — even if the GOP secretly crafts the bill beforehand.
“I have no problem with a group of people meeting to conduct a proposal,” he said.
“But ultimately, that proposal cannot be rushed to the floor.”
President Trump’s opinion on the bill could be another obstacle. After championing the House legislation for weeks, and even celebrating its approval with a party for Republicans in the Rose Garden, Trump abruptly reversed course last week and told GOP senators he thinks the House bill is “mean.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders said it’s possible Democrats would stop congressional business to block Republican health care plan.