GOP rep on Senate health plan: 'It looks like they're trying to hide something'

GOP rep on Senate health plan: 'It looks like they're trying to hide something'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) warned his Republican colleagues in the Senate on Wednesday against crafting their healthcare reform bill behind closed doors, saying that doing so makes it look like they're "trying to hide something."

"Listen, there has to be private meetings all the time, but I think there should be more public debate on it," King said in an interview on "LI in the AM" radio in New York highlighted by CNN.

"It looks like they're trying to hide something and it does add to conspiracy theories and everything else," he added.

Senate GOP leaders are hoping to hold a vote on their bill next week, though the legislation aimed at overhauling parts of the nation's healthcare system has not yet been released.

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The bill is said to have largely been drafted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? Dems charge ahead on immigration Biden and Bernie set for clash MORE (R-Ky.) and a handful of his aides, with limited input from a working group of Republican senators.

Democrats and some Republicans have railed against the process as opaque and secretive, leaving several GOP senators undecided on whether they'll vote for the measure.

McConnell said this week that he would release a "discussion draft" of the healthcare measure on Thursday. Some Republicans, however, have said that still would not leave them enough time to consider the bill before a vote next week.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act would fulfill a major campaign promise for Republicans, who have vowed to do so for years. House Republicans narrowly passed their version of a healthcare reform bill in May.

But the Senate GOP bill could face a tougher road. McConnell can only afford two Republican defections on the bill and still have Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote to get it over the 50-vote threshold needed for passage.

Numerous Senate Republicans have voiced misgivings over the legislation.