Mitch McConnell

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 17:20

Despite Obamacare’s Failures, Democrats Are Still Trying To Prevent Congress From Acting

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate Republicans' commitment to rescuing the American people hurt by Obamacare:

'I remember well seven years ago, Senator Reid was the Majority Leader. We were called into session the Monday after Thanksgiving and we stayed here seven days a week until Christmas Eve. So why did we stay in session seven days a week from the Monday after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve? Our Democrat friends didn't want anybody to go home. They didn't want anybody to go home and have to explain what they were in the process of writing in the Majority Leader's office.

'So I think it's pretty safe to say that this subject has been very partisan from the beginning. Not a single Republican voted for the bill. And our friends on the other side have made it perfectly clear no Democrats will be voting to replace it. So through that process- our colleagues on the other side had 60 votes at the time- Obamacare was imposed on our country.

'Over the last seven years, we've all witnessed and debated its many failures. Over the last seven years, Republicans have offered ideas on a better way forward. Over the last seven years, Democrats have worked to prevent Congress from acting. It's basically the same dynamic we see today. Obamacare continues to collapse. Republicans are working to implement better ideas. Democrats are still trying to prevent Congress from acting.

'I regret that Democrats announced their intention early on, but they did not want to be part of a serious bipartisan process to move past the failures of this law. Congress still has a responsibility to act, and the reconciliation process will allow us to do so. And later, after that period in late 2009 our Democratic friends used reconciliation to force Obamacare on Americans. It's a process that can be used in 2017-the same one they used in 2010- to move beyond its failures.

'So I would remind colleagues of what happens when legislation comes to the floor under reconciliation. The [Democratic] Leader is somehow arguing that reconciliation is not an open process. It's an open process. There are an unlimited number of amendments. First bill text is received, then a CBO score is issued. Members will have time to review both. After that, there is an open amendment process and robust debate. It's the one type of amendment we have on the floor of the Senate that no one can prevent amendments on. Ultimately, at the end of the process, the Senate votes. That's how reconciliation works.

'We've been debating Obamacare's failures and what to do about them for so many years now. Members are very, very familiar with this issue. We've heard so many anguished stories from constituents who've been hurt by Obamacare. Thankfully, at the end of this process, the Senate will finally have a chance to turn the page on this failed law.'

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