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

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynHouse approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike McConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Senate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill 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 McConnellSchumer tees up key Thursday vote on debt deal House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ky.) outlining several Democratic-sponsored bills that the Senate could take up.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBuild Back Better Is bad for the states  Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Biden points to drug prices in call for Senate social spending vote 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.