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Dems tear into 'shameful' ObamaCare repeal vote

Dems tear into 'shameful' ObamaCare repeal vote
© Greg Nash

Democrats on Thursday tore into the House GOP's vote to repeal ObamaCare, ripping their healthcare plan as a "tax cut for millionaires" and "immoral."

The House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act by a 217-213 vote earlier Thursday afternoon. No Democrats backed the bill, and 20 Republicans broke ranks to oppose it.

“It is absolutely shameful that Republicans would put partisan procedural politics above the needs of our nation’s heroes, "Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) said. "If this deeply flawed legislation passes as it is written, millions of veterans and their families could have diminished choice in where to seek care.”

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"This legislation is illogical, immoral and wrong for the country," Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) added. "The American Health Care Act is a reckless, ideologically-motivated bill that will increase pain and suffering across the country so that political actors can claim a ‘win. ’ "

Some House Democrats warned Republicans that they will have to answer to their healthcare vote in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

“Today Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcCarthy introduces bill to fully fund Trump's border wall On The Money: McCarthy offers bill to fully fund Trump border wall | US to press China on currency in trade talks | Mnuchin plans to go ahead with Saudi trip | How America's urban-rural divide is changing the Dems Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas MORE saved his Speakership in the short term but sacrificed his party’s majority in the long term,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said in a statement. 

“Republicans should be prepared to be held accountable for their ‘yes’ votes on this disastrous bill when the American people head to the ballot box in 2018.”

The bill will head to the Senate next. Senate Democrats are pledging to fight to prevent the bill's passage. It can pass the upper chamber without any Democratic support due to the process known as reconciliation, but Dems are promising to pressure GOP colleagues against the bill.

“[GOP House lawmakers] were driven by political arrogance instead of common sense. My recent medical experience reminded me how vulnerable we all are. I will fight this Republican health care repeal in the Senate until Hell freezes over," Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin opposes Saudi arms sale over missing journalist Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight MORE (D-Ill.) said.

“This bill is going nowhere fast in the United States Senate,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFive takeaways from the final Tennessee Senate debate Schumer rips Trump 'Medicare for all' op-ed as 'smears and sabotage' GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter MORE (D-N.Y.) said. “Senate Republicans should refuse to follow their House colleagues over a cliff, reject repeal, and work with Democrats to improve our healthcare system in a bipartisan way.”

“This is not a health care bill – it’s a tax cut for millionaires that’s paid for by taking insurance away from the sick and jacking up prices for the healthy. Virtually no one in America wants this bill – it polls at about 18% – and the Senate should bury it before it ever gets to our door," Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyFive things to watch for in deteriorating US-Saudi relations Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen MORE (D-Conn.) said.

“This was a bad bill a month ago, and it’s a worse bill now. I will fight tooth and nail to keep it from passing the Senate,” Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals 30 million users affected by hack | Grassley presses Google to explain data practices | Senators warn Canada against using Chinese telecom firm | FCC responds to net neutrality lawsuits Senators urge Canada against using Huawei in 5G development due to national security concerns MORE (D-Va.) added.

“The bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster,” Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Senators concerned as Trump official disputes UN climate change warning Jake Tapper hits Trump over 'Medicare for all' op-ed: ‘It’s only an hourlong show, we can’t get into every lie’ MORE (I-Vt.) said. “It really has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous shift of wealth from working people to the richest Americans.”

“In my eight years in the Senate and nearly 20 years in public service, I have never seen a worse bill than this one," Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyEPA chief calls racist Facebook post he liked ‘absolutely offensive’ Dem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen MORE (D-Ore.) added, referring to the AHCA as TrumpCare. 

"TrumpCare 2.0 is even more damaging than TrumpCare 1.0. This bill keeps all the most harmful features of TrumpCare 1.0, stripping coverage for 24 million Americans and gutting Medicaid.”

Some Democrats accused GOP lawmakers of voting for the bill only to curry favor with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE

“Republicans have lost sight of why constituents sent us to Washington D.C. – and it wasn’t to score political points with President Donald Trump,” Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.) said.

“The House Republicans’ effort to impose this extremely unpopular piece of legislation on the American people is a transparent attempt to score a win for the Trump administration,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) said. “[B]ut it will go nowhere because the cost is far too high.”

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats won’t let Kavanaugh debate die Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight Hillary Clinton bursts out laughing about Kavanaugh's 'revenge on behalf of the Clintons' remark MORE (D-R.I.) said Republicans know the healthcare bill is bad because they included a provision exempting themselves from the key ObamaCare rollbacks.

“All you need to know about this bill is that Republicans tried to exempt themselves from it before they got caught. That’s because they know it’s a raw deal,” Whitehouse said.

Other Democratic lawmakers claimed Republicans who voted for the bill do not fully know what consequences the bill will have on their constituents’ healthcare. 

“It is unacceptable for the House Majority to have forced a vote on legislation that will impact millions of lives without knowing its full cost or its harmful effects,” Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) said.

“The passage of Trumpcare is a dark stain on the history of the House of Representatives,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) added. “Republican leaders forced this bill on the country without knowing what effect it would have on millions of Americans and one sixth of our economy.”

- Updated at 3:55 p.m.