House Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee are staging a marathon fight to slow down the GOP’s Obamacare replacement.
The committee is currently going through the process called mark up in which members debate and can add amendments to the bill, called the American Health Care Act.
The debate began on Wednesday at around 10:30 a.m. E,T and as of noon ET on Thursday is ongoing.
Democrats have attempted to add amendments, including forcing President Donald Trump to turn over 10 years of tax returns in order for the bill to pass, delaying passage of the bill until the Congressional Budget Office scores it, eliminating changes to the funding of Medicaid expansion, and renaming the bill the “Republican Pay More For Less Care Act.”
Another delay tactic Democrats used was to force clerks of the committee to read the 66-page legislation they are considering in its entirety. It took just over an hour.
While all of the Democrats’ amendments have been batted down by Republicans on the committee — the GOP outnumbers Democrats 31 to 23 on the panel — the tactic has produced substantial delays.
The House Ways and Means committee also marked up the bill, but eventually passed it at around 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday morning in a party-line vote.
It’s doubtful that the delay will do much to change or block the eventual passage of the law, but it could slow down the process enough for the score from the CBO — which would show the AHCA’s impact on the budget and American’s health coverage — to be released in the middle of the broader House debate. That score is expected some time next week.
For now, however, the battle rages on.
You can watch a livestream of the mark up here, via the Energy and Commerce Committee Youtube:
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