58 Democrats Bust McConnell for Plan to Vote on Graham-Cassidy Without a CBO Score

Rep. Meeks (D-NY) sent a letter signed by 57 House Democrats busting Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for planning to vote on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill without a CBO score, urging the Republican to wait until the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has analyzed its full impact and cost.

Researchers have found that if Republicans passed Graham-Cassidy, an additional 41,600 Americans would die each year.

The Democrats point out that healthcare is a public policy most likely to to profoundly affect someone’s life, and should be done responsibly and transparently, and additionally they reminded the Republican Senator of regular order which he is ignoring once again, “Since February 1975, Congress, the press, and the citizenry have relied on the non-partisan CBO to produce formal cost estimates for nearly every bill approved by a full committee in either chamber of Congress.”

“Of all public policy, healthcare is one of the most intimate and likely to profoundly affect a person’s life. Accordingly, whenever the U.S. Congress makes significant changes to millions of Americans’ healthcare, it must be done carefully, responsibly, and transparently,” Congressman Meeks said in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA. “However, that is a far cry from how Senate Republicans have moved this bill.”

Meeks called on McConnell to listen to the American people’s objections, “The fifty-eight Members of Congress who signed this letter are urging Senator McConnell to see the error in his ways and heed the calls from Democrats, the members of his own party who have spoken out against this process and the bill itself, and most importantly, the American people.”

“Major healthcare legislation is much too important to zip through Congress and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to return to regular order, restore the democratic process, and work with Democrats to fix—not upend—healthcare for millions of Americans.”

Republicans are once again trying to ram through any kind of “healthcare” bill because they ran on repeal and replace for so long that their utter failure to actually follow through has been deeply embarrassing.

The answer to the Republican inability to legislate and govern isn’t to cobble together any horrible bill they can find and shove it through in the dark of night just to stick it to Obama. That is not how responsible representatives of the people would behave.

If Republicans have to violate the democratic process and do things in the dark, that’s a clue that the bill probably shouldn’t be passed.

The Republican Party continues to embarrass itself by demonstrating that it really doesn’t have a clue how to even debate important public policy, so instead they will pass a bill that researchers say will kill over 400,000 people within the next decade without allowing it to be scored, because they can’t explain their bill to the people.

All Republicans know is they must manage to do harm thousands of Americans, and the only way to do this without horrific backlash is to ignore the democratic process.

Below is Rep. Meeks’ letter signed by 57 House Democrats:

September 20, 2017

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senator for Kentucky
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,

We write to you with concern regarding reports that Senate Republicans, under your leadership, are planning to move forward on significant healthcare legislation without a complete score from the non-partisan and credible Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Any legislation, particularly the new healthcare bill introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, and Ron Johnson, which affects hundreds of millions of Americans and over one-sixth of our nation’s economy, should have its full impact evaluated and its cost analyzed. To proceed to vote on legislation without ample consideration would be to deny the American people the transparency and responsiveness they deserve from their Congress.

As you know, following a dispute between President Nixon and Congress over spending authority, Congress passed the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which created the Congressional Budget Office. Since February 1975, Congress, the press, and the citizenry have relied on the non-partisan CBO to produce formal cost estimates for nearly every bill approved by a full committee in either chamber of Congress.

Hence, it is worrisome that Senate Republican leadership would prevent the CBO from conducting a thorough and reliable analysis of major legislation regarding healthcare in this country. Consequentially, we strongly urge you to allow the Congressional Budget Office to conduct a comprehensive and complete analysis of the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson healthcare bill and any major legislation that would have significant repercussions for millions of Americans’ healthcare. Finally, we also implore you to move this and any other significant healthcare legislation through the Senate in accordance with regular order to provide transparency and allow all Senators the opportunity to weigh in on behalf of their constituents, the American people.

Sincerely,

Gregory W. Meeks
Member of Congress

(Reps. Sewell, Khanna, Plaskett, Raskin, Soto, Torres, Bordallo, Fudge, Payne, Clay, Cooper, Meng, Evans, Conyers, Espaillat, Hank Johnson, Correa, Gonzalez, Jackson Lee, Hastings, Beyer, Nadler, David Scott, Larsen, Foster, Takano, Holmes Norton, Pocan, Butterfield, Moore, Serrano, Blunt Rochester, Carbajal, Grijalva, Napolitano, Hanabusa, Jayapal, Delaney, Heck, Peters, Schneider, Engel, McGovern, O’Halleran, Carson, McEachin, Richmond, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Velázquez, Watson Coleman, Kuster, Slaughter, Garamendi, Rush, Connolly, Cicilline, Cohen)