House Republicans may or may not ultimately pass a regressive health care bill, but either way, they seem resigned to the fact that the only way they can succeed is to commit a mugging—rush a vote on a bill negotiated in private, before the Congressional Budget Office has issued an analysis of its effects on costs and coverage. To that end, they’ve passed a rule that will allow them to put a final bill directly on the floor anytime between now and Saturday.
Democrats can’t stop this directly, but they can make Republicans feel pain for tossing regular order out the window. To that end, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer announced Thursday that Republicans will risk shutting down their own government unless they run the health care bill through a more above-board process.
If Republicans announce their intention to bring their harmful TrumpCare bill to the House Floor tomorrow or Saturday, I will oppose a one-week Continuing Resolution and will advise House Democrats to oppose it as well. Republicans continue to struggle to find the votes to pass a bill that will kick 24 million Americans off their health coverage, allow discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, and impose an age tax on older Americans. That’s why they are trying to jam it through the House before their Members can hear from the American people this weekend about their opposition to this horrible legislation.
If Republicans pursue this partisan path of forcing Americans to pay more for less and destabilizing our county’s health care system – without even knowing how much their bill will cost – Republicans should be prepared to pass a one-week Continuing Resolution on their own.
A sizable rump of House conservatives will sometimes vote against these stopgap bills, too, and if that were to happen this time, Republicans would be precipitating a government shutdown by announcing a rushed health care vote. But, of course, House conservatives might make an exception in this case, to counteract Hoyer’s threat. What would really give this squeeze play full force is if Senate Democrats backed up Hoyer’s threat with one of their own.