Senate Dems plan floor protest ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote

Greg Nash

Democrats are planning an hours-long protest from the Senate floor on Monday night as they gear up ahead of a vote on the GOP plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.  

Ben Wikler, the Washington director for the progressive outside group, urged supporters to come to the Capitol on Monday night to watch the floor speeches from inside the Senate chamber. 
“Dems will #holdthefloor against Trumpcare late into night,” he tweeted,
A senior aide confirmed the plan, adding there “will be a few hours worth [of speeches]” after a procedural vote scheduled for early Monday evening. 
{mosads}The mini-talkathon comes as Democrats are digging in ahead of the highly watched vote this week. Progressive activists are expected to hold events around the Capitol every day to protest the bill leading up to a final vote, which could come on Thursday night or early Friday. 
Democrats can’t block the bill on their own, but are under pressure to use any procedural tool at their disposal to slow down the legislation and make GOP senators take politically tough amendment votes. 
Republicans have a narrow path to clearing the legislation. With 52 seats, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can only afford to lose two GOP senators and still pass a bill. 
There are five GOP senators who currently don’t support the bill. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Republicans had “at best a 50-50 chance” of passing the legislation. 
Democrats kept the Senate in session until just after midnight last Monday protesting the GOP healthcare bill. 
They’ve also stalled Senate committee work by enforcing the “two hour” rule, which blocks committees from meeting after the Senate has been in session for two hours. 
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) blasted the tactics, saying Schumer was refusing “to let the Senate committees function normally.” 

“These are important matters that warrant committee action and should not be treated as collateral damage in the Minority Leader’s political tantrum,” said Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee. 

Democrats are using the hardball tactics to retaliate for Republicans negotiating their legislation in a string of closed-door GOP-only meetings, and trying to put senators on defense as they plot to force a vote before the July 4th recess.  

“As we’ve made clear to our Republican colleagues, if they continue to insist on ramming through a secret health care bill without any public input or debate, they shouldn’t expect business as usual in the Senate,” Schumer said in a statement last week.

Democrats have frequently used their leverage on the Senate floor to try to push Republicans on a particular issue. They blocked committee hearings last month in response to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Tags Chuck Grassley Chuck Schumer Mitch McConnell
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video