Engel Calls Senate Plans to Sidestep Regular Process for Trumpcare "Outrageous and Hypocritical”

May 11, 2017

Washington D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement regarding Senate consideration of the American Health Care Act, known as Trumpcare:

“The policies included in Trumpcare are utterly devastating. But similarly unconscionable was the process by which House Republicans pushed this bill forward – a process that, stunningly, Senate Republicans appears poised to mirror.

“House Republicans passed Trumpcare without a single hearing, robbing Americans of the chance to hear testimony and analysis from expert witnesses. The bill bypassed every relevant subcommittee, moving straight to full Committee votes. And the final text was hidden from view until less than 24 hours before the House voted to pass it. That vote took place without an up-to-date readout from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – i.e., without a complete understanding of what Trumpcare will cost and how it will affect our constituents.

“To call this process ‘opaque’ would be an understatement. And yet the Senate plans to retrench even further.

“Reports indicate that the Senate version of Trumpcare will sidestep Committee review altogether – a step even more egregious than House Republicans’ truncated Committee process. Instead, Senate Republicans have convened a working group that will conduct its business completely out of public view, and without a single woman or Democrat.

“This is as outrageous as it is hypocritical. For nearly a decade, Republicans have relentlessly castigated the process by which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted. Yet, over the course of 2009 and 2010, the House alone held 79 bipartisan hearings and markups on health insurance reform. Just in the Energy and Commerce Committee, on which I serve, Democrats adopted 24 Republicans amendments to the ACA. In contrast, on their first failed attempt in March, House Republicans adopted zero Democratic amendments to Trumpcare during our Committee’s single, 27-hour marathon markup.

“I had hoped that Trumpcare’s initial failure in March may have given pause to my Republican colleagues, who could have worked openly with Democrats to improve the ACA and build on its progress. But it appears that the GOP isn’t ready to work with Democrats, or to work to protect the American people.”

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Please note this statement was originally published on May 11, 2017 by Congressman Engel’s House of Representative’s office and posted to this website no sooner than 72 hours after initial publication.