Dems push to require Senate hearing for ObamaCare repeal vote
© Keren Carrion

Senate Democrats are introducing legislation that would ban Republicans from bringing up their ObamaCare repeal and replace bill without holding a hearing on the bill.

The legislation, known as the "No Hearing, No Vote Act," would require a bill being passed under reconciliation — the fast-track process being used to repeal and replace ObamaCare — to be voted on by at least one committee and have had at least one hearing.

"Senate Republicans’ attempts to pass Trumpcare in the dark of night, without any transparency is one of the most egregious examples of legislative malpractice in decades. Republicans have held zero committee hearings, solicited zero bipartisan support, and plan to allow zero public debate," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCan Mueller be more honest than his colleagues? Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism House Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.

The legislation is unlikely to be passed in the Senate, where Republicans are expected to clear their ObamaCare repeal and replace legislation without holding a public hearing.

The proposal, which is backed by Democratic Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayThe risk of kicking higher ed reauthorization down the road Trump admin announces abstinence-focused overhaul of teen pregnancy program Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes MORE (Wash.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTrump struggles to get new IRS team in place CIA declassifies memo on nominee's handling of interrogation tapes Dem senators demand Trump explain ties to Koch brothers MORE (Ore.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd MORE (Ore.) and Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders ally pushes Dems on cutting superdelegates Sanders: ‘Trump's agenda is dead’ if Democrats win back majority Hannity snaps back at 'Crybaby' Todd: 'Only conservatives have to disclose relationships?' MORE (Vt.), comes as Democrats are stepping up their attacks on Republicans' efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Democrats circulated a video of a Finance Committee meeting last week when Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (D-Mo.) questioned if there "will there be a hearing on the healthcare proposal?"

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump struggles to get new IRS team in place Romney forced into GOP primary for Utah Senate nomination Romney won't commit yet to supporting Trump in 2020 MORE (R-Utah), the chairman of the committee, replied, "I don't know that there's going to be another hearing, but we've invited you to participate."

Senate Republicans are holding several closed-door meetings per week to debate their proposal.

Republicans have a narrow path to getting legislation passed – they hold 52 seats, meaning they can only afford two defections and still have Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.

No Democrats are expected to support the effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Senate Republicans want to pass their bill this summer, as soon as the end of this month but before the end of July when they leave for the August recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Pompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees MORE (R-Ky.) declined to commit on Tuesday that they would pass the bill before July 4 recess, but said "something has to be done soon."

"Everybody's participating who wants to, and the idea is to get enough votes to pass it. Unfortunately, it will have to be a Republicans-only exercise. But we're working hard to get there," he told reporters.

McConnell fast-tracked the House bill earlier this month, placing it on the Senate calendar and allowing it — as had been expected — to skip over the committee process. 
 
Senate Republicans are writing their own proposal, but will use the House bill as a shell to get their bill through the upper chamber. McConnell's move will allow him to bring up the legislation quickly once Republicans are ready to vote.