WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said today that GOP lawmakers won’t rush a replacement for Obamacare because “we’re not going to swap one 2,700-page monstrosity for another.”
“We’re not going to jam some bill through Harry Reid’s office on Christmas Eve only to find what’s in it after it’s been passed. We’re going to do this the right way,” he said at a news conference on Capitol Hill, referring to the original Obamacare vote. “…We are on a rescue mission to prevent Obamacare from making things even worse.”
In a late-night session dubbed the vote-a-rama, Senate Democrats attempted to protect the law piece by piece with a series of amendments. When it came time to vote to open the repeal process via budget resolution, each Dem stood during the roll call and announced why they were voting no.
The measure passed 51-48, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who objected to tying Obamacare repeal to a bloated budget bill, the only GOP defection.
Ryan said there’s no daylight between House Republicans and President-elect Trump, who told reporters this week that he wants a near-simultaneously repeal and replacement.
“We’re completely in sync, planning on a daily basis with the administration for how to roll all of this out and that’s what we’re doing,” Ryan said. “…We’re going to use every tool at our disposal to do just that. And we have to do it all at the same time so that everybody sees what it is we’re trying to do. And that is why I say we’re in sync with the administration on that.”
“We’re working on an aggressive timetable. We’re going to work the process as best we can. We don’t — we’re not holding hard deadlines, only because we want to get it right. Again, we need to move quickly because the law is collapsing. But we also want to get it right. And we’re going to go through regular order, unlike what the Democrats did.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) slammed Republicans’ “repeal-and-delay plan” as “repeal-and-deny.”
“Deny health coverage to tens of millions. Deny tax credits to small businesses to help them cover their employees. Deny those with pre-existing conditions protection from high premiums and coverage denials. And deny parents from covering their children under age twenty-six through their own insurance plans,” Hoyer said in a floor speech.
“Every American will be adversely affected if we repeal the Affordable Care Act.”