Schumer: Dems have GOP ‘on defense’ on Obamacare, Cabinet picks

Schumer: Dems have GOP ‘on defense’ on Obamacare, Cabinet picks
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) says his party has Republicans backpedaling on its plan to repeal ObamaCare and on its push to quickly confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks.

“Who would have thought in the first week of Congress the Democrats would have been on offense and the Republicans are on defense?” he asked Monday night on MSNBC’s “All In.”

Schumer, ahead of a Monday night protest on the Senate floor, said that Democrats are successfully tying the negative effects of repealing ObamaCare to Republicans.


“We’ve told our Republican colleagues, if you repeal it, you own it,” he told host Chris Hayes. "There are a lot of good things in the [Affordable Care Act]. They’re trying to find a way to repeal the ACA and keep all those good things.”

“They’re in real trouble and now they’re squirming and squirming,” added Schumer.

"They’re like the dog who caught the bus. So far not a single Republican has presented a replacement that has gotten even a small consensus among Republicans.”

The Senate is expected to vote this week to pass the ObamaCare repeal rules. Democrats face an uphill to block the resolution — only 50 votes are needed for it to clear the upper chamber, and Republicans have a 52-seat majority.

But Monday night, a group of five GOP senators said they want to extend the deadline for hashing out an ObamaCare repeal plan, arguing the move would also give lawmakers more time to work on a replacement. 

Schumer added on Monday evening that Democrats would not lay down and let Trump get all of his desired Cabinet picks until they were properly vetted.

“These cry out for hearings,” he said. "Not six at once, two hours each, and then we’re finished. The American people demand who these people are.”

Two of Trump's nominees will face confirmation hearings on Tuesday, followed by five more on Wednesday and two more on Thursday. 

“It’s sort of like ‘Alice in Wonderland' — the verdict before the trial,” Schumer added. "That’s ridiculous. We have the ability, still, to demand 30 hours from all the nominees on the floor.”

“We have the ability to slow things down, and there’s good reason to do it. We don’t want to do it. [But] the trigger will be, is the information available?”

Democrats are holding a late-night talkathon Monday into Tuesday, aimed at protesting Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare.

Democrats have also blasted the GOP’s schedule for confirming Trump’s Cabinet picks, arguing they are rushing the process without properly vetting the candidates.