Cornyn: Time for Democrats to put up healthcare ideas
© Keren Carrion

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same MORE (R-Texas) is urging Democrats to offer ideas on fixing the healthcare system, saying "fragile majorities" in the Senate force both parties to work together.

"Democrats need to be more constructive rather than just continuing to bury their head in the sand about the fundamental problems with the Affordable Care Act," Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican, said from the Senate floor on Tuesday.

He added that while Democrats "fought us every step up the way" on the GOP's effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, lawmakers have to keep looking for a path forward on a healthcare bill.

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"There's a lot the American people expect of us, but we've seen with fragile majorities in the Senate that we are forced to work together to try to solve these problems. And I think, frankly, bipartisan solutions tend to be more durable," Cornyn said.

Democrats have sent Republicans multiple letters on healthcare that asked, for example, for an all-Senate meeting and suggested a list of rooms where they could hold a public hearing.

In July, they sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban MORE (R-Ky.) outlining several Democratic-sponsored bills that the Senate could take up.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) said earlier Tuesday that Democrats are willing to work on a bipartisan healthcare bill, but the insurance market must be stabilized first.

President Trump is threatening to cancel cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments as part of his effort to make ObamaCare “implode.” He's expected to make an announcement on CSRs as soon as Tuesday.

Schumer added that the "ball is in the president's court."

"He can make the payments as the law requires and needs, or he can sabotage our healthcare system and impose a Trump Premium Tax of 20 percent higher premiums on the American people next year by not extending the cost-sharing program," he said.