Saturday, June 17, 2017

Senators must shine a light on McConnell's dark secret. But will they?

Greg Sargent (Washington Post/Plum Line) highlights how Republicans are employing a new ruse to destroy Obamacare. Don’t fall for it.

Republican senators are now making a great show of expressing their disapproval with the scandalously opaque and secretive process that the GOP Senate leadership is employing in the quest to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The complaints have grown so loud that the New York Times has devoted a prominent article to them.

But it’s very likely that all of this will end up amounting to just another ruse — and that, in retrospect, we will see this as yet another layer of fraudulence among many that have encrusted this whole process throughout.

To be sure, the GOP senators expressing dissatisfaction with the process may well be sincere, at least to some extent. “The process is better if you do it in public, and that people get buy-in along the way and understand what’s going on,” groused Bob Corker of Tennessee. “Seems like around here, the last step is getting information, which doesn’t seem to be necessarily the most effective process,” griped Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. “None,” barked John McCain of Arizona, when asked to describe his comfort level with the process. Numerous other GOP senators have complained they don’t know what’s in the bill they’re going to be voting on within days or weeks.

But talk is cheap. What counts is whether, or how, these senators put pressure on McConnell to slow things down, publish the draft legislation, and open the process up to public view.

But here’s the rub: If these senators really wanted to improve this process, they could be doing more to make that happen than they actually appear to be, and it’s within the realm of the plausible that they would succeed, at least to some degree.

… if these senators told McConnell that they genuinely want or need an improved process, that would put him in a meaningful bind. He’d have to prioritize the need to get the bill through over his members’ genuine needs or demands, precisely because the bill can’t survive too much public scrutiny, as it’s so toxic. As Ornstein put it, the fact that the process is likely to remain as it is underscores that “McConnell’s one goal is to get 50 votes — and the only way he will get that 50 votes is to keep this process as tightly secret as possible.”

Once again I urge your action. Call/write/fax our two AZ senators and express your support for a NO vote on McConnell’s stealth attack on health care.

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