Schumer threatens to slow down Senate over ObamaCare repeal

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Democrats are willing to jam up the Senate to stop the GOP’s latest ObamaCare repeal bill. 

“We’re going to look at every possible way to slow this bill down,” Schumer said during a Monday press conference. 

Mostly powerless to set the legislative agenda in the minority, Democrats have some delaying tactics at their disposal.

They’ve previously blocked congressional committees from meeting after the Senate was in session for two hours, for instance. They’ve also held the Senate floor over night in protest.

{mosads}In July, Democrats required Republicans to read the text of any amendment they wanted to vote on as part of their failed ObamaCare repeal effort, which ate up hours of floor time. 

Schumer’s statement Monday came after he and other party leaders called on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide a complete analysis of the latest ObamaCare repeal bill.

The CBO said the full scoring of the bill could take weeks. The office plans to release a preliminary assessment next week.

Republicans are eyeing an eleventh-hour attempt to repeal ObamaCare next week, with a bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) gaining momentum. 

But GOP leadership is facing a narrow path to passage. With a 52-seat majority, Republicans will need to win over at least 50 senators to let Vice President Pence break a tie. 

Several key members, including GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John McCain (Ariz.), remain undecided.

But Republicans face a difficult choice, as the budgetary instructions for ObamaCare repeal expire on Sept. 30. Cassidy-Graham could be their last chance to get rid of the law before the 2018 midterm elections.

Tags Bill Cassidy Chuck Schumer John McCain Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Susan Collins

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