In a protest against the refusal of Republicans to hold a public hearing on their effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, Democrats are planning to speak from the Senate floor until at least midnight on Monday, The Hill reported.
The protest is being organized by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who told the Washington Examiner, “People deserve public debate about the future of our healthcare system.”
Instead, Republicans formed a working group of 14 GOP senators that has been meeting in private to hash out ideas on the details of the healthcare bill.
The protest comes as progressive groups have been pressuring Democrats to become proactive in opposing the GOP efforts.
Indivisible, for example, put out a June action plan in which it advocated “a combination of filibustering and withholding consent” in order to slow down the running of the Senate, such as filing “thousands of amendments and keep them going until Republicans agree to have public hearings on the [healthcare] bill.”
Although the Democratic leadership hasn’t publicly supported the use of parliamentary maneuvers to slow down routine business in the Senate as part of the fight against the repeal and replace of Obamacare, CNN reported that this strategy is being considered.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, however, did send a letter a few days ago to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting bipartisan negotiations over healthcare instead of the GOP working on the bill in private meetings.
Senate Republicans are hoping their bill will be voted on by the recess for Independence Day. But with no Democrats backing the legislation, the bill could only lose the support of two GOP senators in order to have the 50 votes needed to pass.
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