WASHINGTON (CN) – Senate Republicans plan to release a draft of their health care overhaul on Thursday morning with an eye on bringing the legislation to the floor as soon as next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
Speaking at a weekly press conference on Tuesday, McConnell said leaders will wait to bring the bill to the floor until after the Congressional Budget Office releases its score of the legislation, which he said would “likely” happen next week.
Republicans are using a process known as reconciliation to move the legislation, meaning they only need 51 votes to pass the bill once it comes to the floor. However, the reconciliation process puts restrictions on legislation passed that way, including restrictions on how the legislation would impact the deficit.
This makes the pending CBO score pivotal to Republicans being able to pass their repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Democrats have been critical of the process Republicans have used when debating the bill, saying it has been put together behind closed doors without the public being aware of what is in the legislation. McConnell bristled at this on Tuesday, arguing the public has been clear on the various sides of the issue in the seven years since the Affordable Care Act passed.
“Everybody will have an adequate time to take a look at it,” McConnell told reporters. “I think this will be about as transparent as it can be. No transparency would have been added by having hearings in which Democrats offered endless single-payer system amendments.”
But the night after holding the floor in protest of the legislation, Democrats kept firm on their criticisms of the legislation and the process Republicans have employed to push it forward.
“In my entire career in politics I have never heard a more radical, or a more reckless process,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday.