News Releases

Faced with bipartisan votes against Trumpcare, full repeal, Senate Republicans launch “last-ditch plan” to sneak bill through

In floor speech, Sen. Murray blasts secret plan; urges GOP to drop “sham” process

ICYMI—As millions speak out against Trumpcare, bipartisan group of Governors plead Republicans to reject bill—LINK

Sen. Murray: “I [hope Republicans] understand that if they pass this bill tonight—it will only get worse from here”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SEN. MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE*** 

(Washington, D.C.) –  Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health Committee, today announced that Senate Republicans plan to bring forward legislation late tonight to move Trumpcare through to conference with extreme House Republicans. This bill has currently received no official Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score and has not been made public to Senators or the American people.

In her floor speech, Murray warned Republican Senators that if this “secret bill—this lowest-common-denominator—goes through and a conference starts with the House, then every Senate Republican who voted for it has just bought Trumpcare a trip to the White House.”

Key excerpts of Sen. Murray’s floor speech:

“Faced with defeat after defeat on their plans to rip apart our health care system…No on a bill that would spike families’ premiums, gut Medicaid, and deny 22 million people health care...No on a bill that would cause chaos, health care costs to skyrocket, and deny 32 million people health care…It appears that the Republican Leader has a last-ditch plan waiting in the wings. As soon as they have an official score from the CBO—which could be hours from now, in the dead of night—Senator McConnell will bring forward legislation that Democrats, patients and families, and even many Senate Republicans haven’t seen…And try to pass it before anyone can so much as blink.”

“We have heard rumors about what could be in this bill. And based on what we know, Democrats took it upon ourselves to do the best we could to figure out what its impact would be. The CBO scored our best guess at what Republicans are talking about doing—and here’s what they found. Sixteen million people will lose health care in the next ten years under this bill; premiums will increase by 20 percent, every single year for the next ten years; all while special interests in the health industry get a massive tax break. Now Republicans could still play games with the language as they negotiate in secret to try to get a bit “better” than this—but no matter what they do here, if they jam it through they would be held accountable for the millions of people who would lose care, and the millions and millions more who would see their premiums go up.”

“I hope when my Senate Republican colleagues began this process, they weren’t planning to pass a bill in the dark of night to deny millions of people health care, and hand special interest billions in tax breaks. But right now, that’s the path they are careening down—even as more and more people are speaking up about the impact this legislation would have. In fact, just yesterday a bipartisan group of 10 governors wrote a letter urging Senate Republicans to reject this secret bill, saying it would: “accelerate health plans leaving the individual market, increase premiums, and result in fewer Americans having access to coverage.” I hope every single Senate Republican read that letter, M. President. And I also hope they understand that if they pass this bill tonight—it will only get worse from here.”

“I want to remind any Senate Republican who doesn’t want to have Trumpcare on their hands—who truly does want to make our health care system work better for patients and families—there is a better path. As Senator McCain said so powerfully earlier this week, we shouldn’t let the bombastic loudmouths” drive our work—we should get back to regular order. And M. President, we still can. I am saying it to every Senate Republican every chance I get: drop this partisan, sham floor process. Start over, with an open, transparent process in which both sides—and patients and families across the country—have a voice. I know that as big as our differences are—that many of my Republican colleagues would prefer this bipartisan route. They’ve said as much—and their votes to reject the partisan Trumpcare and full repeal bills this week make it even clearer.”

Watch video of Sen. Murray’s floor speech HERE.

Full text of Sen. Murray’s floor speech:  

“Thank you.

M. President, I want all my colleagues—and everyone listening right now—to be very clear about what Republican leadership is planning for today.

Faced with defeat after defeat on their plans to rip apart our health care system…

No on a bill that would spike families’ premiums, gut Medicaid, and deny 22 million people health care...

No on a bill that would cause chaos, health care costs to skyrocket, and deny 32 million people health care…

It appears that the Republican Leader has a last-ditch plan waiting in the wings.

As soon as they have an official score from the CBO—which could be hours from now, in the dead of night—Senator McConnell will bring forward legislation that Democrats, patients and families, and even many Senate Republicans haven’t seen…

And try to pass it before anyone can so much as blink.

Now, M. President—we have heard rumors about what could be in this bill.

And based on what we know, Democrats took it upon ourselves to do the best we could to figure out what its impact would be.

The CBO scored our best guess at what Republicans are talking about doing—and here’s what they found.

Sixteen million people will lose health care in the next ten years under this bill; premiums will increase by 20 percent, every single year for the next ten years; all while special interests in the health industry get a massive tax break.

Now Republicans could still play games with the language as they negotiate in secret to try to get a bit “better” than this—but no matter what they do here, if they jam it through they would be held accountable for the millions of people who would lose care, and the millions and millions more who would see their premiums go up.

M. President—I hope when my Senate Republican colleagues began this process, they weren’t planning to pass a bill in the dark of night to deny millions of people health care, and hand special interest billions in tax breaks.

But right now, that’s the path they are careening down—even as more and more people are speaking up about the impact this legislation would have.

In fact, just yesterday a bipartisan group of 10 governors wrote a letter urging Senate Republicans to reject this secret bill, saying it would: “accelerate health plans leaving the individual market, increase premiums, and result in fewer Americans having access to coverage.”

I hope every single Senate Republican read that letter, M. President. And I also hope they understand that if they pass this bill tonight—it will only get worse from here.

M. President, if this secret bill—this lowest-common-denominator—goes through and a conference starts with the House, then every Senate Republican who voted for it has just bought Trumpcare a trip to the White House.

And the Senate Republicans who so loudly made clear they hated the Trumpcare bill when it passed the House, could now very well find themselves being held responsible for sending that same bill straight to President Trump’s desk.

Because let’s be honest.

Extreme conservatives aren’t going to rest until they have a bill on the way to the White House that would spike premiums and out of pocket costs, gut protections for pre-existing conditions, end Medicaid as we know it, defund Planned Parenthood, kick tens of millions of people off their coverage….

A bill that would, in other words, shatter the promises of more responsible Republicans who I know are deeply concerned about ways these outcomes would impact the people they serve.

So, M. President—to put it simply—conference is no excuse to kick people off coverage, spike premiums by 20 percent for everyone, and give a massive tax break to the wealthy.

Especially because it will simply be an opportunity to hand the keys over to the House Freedom Caucus.

M. President, I want to remind any Senate Republican who doesn’t want to have Trumpcare on their hands—who truly does want to make our health care system work better for patients and families—there is a better path.

As Senator McCain said so powerfully earlier this week…

We shouldn’t let the bombastic loudmouths” drive our work—we should get back to regular order.

And M. President, we still can.

I am saying it to every Senate Republican every chance I get: drop this partisan, sham floor process.

Start over, with an open, transparent process in which both sides—and patients and families across the country—have a voice.

I know that as big as our differences are—that many of my Republican colleagues would prefer this bipartisan route.

They’ve said as much—and their votes to reject the partisan Trumpcare and full repeal bills this week make it even clearer.

So let’s have hearings—like Chairman Alexander has proposed to do in the HELP Committee.

Let’s have a public debate. Let’s focus on policies that lower costs, expand coverage, and improve quality.

Democrats are ready and at the table—and I hope Senate Republicans who are ready to work on real solutions will join us.

But first, for that to happen, Senate Republicans need to step away from this sham process we are on today.

Say no, vote no, and return us to a process we’re all involved in.”