Something strange happened on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon.
The draft of the Republican legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was apparently under lock and key. It's not unusual for the majority party to discuss controversial legislation privately, away from the minority party. But what was wild in this case is that the search for the missing bill was led by the person you'd least expect.
Meet your unlikely hero, Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
Paul tweeted, "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."
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.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 2, 2017
I am heading to the secure location where they are keeping the House obamacare bill. I will demand a copy for the American people.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 2, 2017
Of course, the oddest thing about this is that Paul is a member of the GOP. Why would his own party hide the legislation from him? Oh, right, it's because he has publicly criticized the version described by his fellow Republican members.
At some point in the afternoon, the senator made it into the room where the bill was being kept... And he brought his own damn copy machine with him.
But alas, the draft was nowhere to be found. What happened next was a wild goose chase led by Paul and top Democrats, including the House Democratic whip Steny H. Hoyer.
Hoyer broadcast the hunt on Facebook Live, at some point stopping by the bust of Abraham Lincoln, and saying, "I can’t find the bill. I know, Mr. Lincoln, you are as upset with your party as I am today."
You obviously know happened once news of the wild journey hit the web: Twitter had a freaking field day.
I have the House Obamacare bill, it’s yours if you can answer my riddles three @RandPaul— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 2, 2017
Did Rand Paul remember to do the side quests required to level up to enter the room where the bill is being held?— moonlight woulda won (@jesseltaylor) March 2, 2017
Ok so the bill has been moved to a new secret location after the old secret location got too much heat. The hunt continues.— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) March 2, 2017
UPDATE: The bill is now leading Hill reporters on a low-speed chase down the Los Angeles Freeway— Adam Cancryn (@adamcancryn) March 2, 2017
Jokes aside, why isn't a bill that will impact the lives of millions of Americans only being discussed in the shadows? After all, the Republican party had a fit back in 2010 and insisted that Obamacare had been passed by Democrats without enough public scrutiny. Shouldn't they let Paul and everyone else see the damn repeal-and-replace bill, so they can end this nonsense once and for all?
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