Key GOP senator on health care plan: ‘I haven’t seen the bill’

Julia Munslow
·Editor

A lawmaker on the working group for the Senate Republicans’ health care bill said Tuesday that he still hasn’t seen a draft of the legislation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised to unveil on Thursday.

“I haven’t seen the bill,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a video he posted to Facebook. Lee is one of 13 members of the all-GOP working group tasked with drafting the bill.

Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Friday, June 2, 2017. Lee discussed the prospect of tax reform and the changes he expects to the tax code. 
Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, during a Bloomberg Television interview on June 2. (Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“It has become increasingly apparent in the last few days that even though we thought that we were going to be in charge of writing a bill within this working group, it’s not being written by us,” Lee said.

Instead, a small group of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate are writing it, Lee said.

“If you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration, I share it wholeheartedly,” he said. “I’m told that [the bill] exists, I just haven’t been able to see it yet.”

The Republicans’ secretive process behind the health care bill has provoked the ire of Senate Democrats, who staged a talkathon Monday night, but that frustration has apparently expanded to some members of the GOP caucus. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, reportedly said that a vote next week wouldn’t give her enough time to make a decision.

But Lee said he would “be fine” voting on the bill soon as long as he can see a draft before the vote, adding, “We should have been able to see it weeks ago if we’re going to be voting on it next week.”

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