Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulDestructive 'fat cat' tax law a complete flop. It's time to repeal it. Trump must take action in Macedonia to fix damage done by Obama and Clinton We can put America first by preventing public health disasters MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday blasted House Republicans for keeping their ObamaCare repeal and replace legislation under wraps.
“I have been told that the House Obamacare bill is under lock & key, in a secure location, & not available for me or the public to view,” Paul tweeted.
“This is unacceptable. This is the biggest issue before Congress and the American people right now.”
I have been told that the House Obamacare bill is under lock & key, in a secure location, & not available for me or the public to view.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 2, 2017
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's new bill is being kept in a “dedicated reading room,” Bloomberg reported, where it will be available to members of the panel ahead of a markup. The move is an effort to prevent leaks.
GOP leaders say the bill will be released once it is final.
In several tweets, Paul accused House leadership of not wanting to admit to creating a watered down version of ObamaCare, and demanded that they release text of the bill.
@RandPaul What is the House leadership trying to hide? My guess is, they are trying to hide their "Obamacare Lite" approach.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 2, 2017
@RandPaul I demand the House release the text of the bill. Every elected official & every American deserve to know what they're trying to do— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 2, 2017
Paul later said he's been told the draft of the repeal bill is "take it or leave it."
"I think that's why it's top secret," he said. "Why don't they want us to see it? The only copy we've seen is from the media — does that sound to you backwards?"
"We saw a leaked copy that the media was given that we weren’t given," he continued. "Now we’re told that it’s being classified, that the hearing is like a security clearance hearing, you have to have a clearance and permission."
Paul said the bill will be made available starting today to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"I’m assuming anybody else will be turned away," he said.
Paul’s criticism follows a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday to discuss a strategy for repealing the healthcare law.
The Kentucky senator urged House lawmakers to release text of the ObamaCare draft "today."
@RandPaul And I call on them to make this process transparent and to let the sunshine in. Today.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 2, 2017
Reporters later tweeted photos of the senator attempting to access the room where the bill is being kept, and being denied entry.
Rand Paul speaks to press outside "secret room" with Obamacare bill pic.twitter.com/XQv8W8EBaO— Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) March 2, 2017
Sen. Rand Paul demands a copy of the bill. This staffer says she can't give him one. pic.twitter.com/gPo5rMsUkS— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) March 2, 2017
Sen Paul trying to enter room with ACA bill. Being denied entry pic.twitter.com/Vwg6vtZelc— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) March 2, 2017
— This story was updated at 12:15 p.m.