BY GILLIAN ROBERTS and JASON DICK
Democratic senators started the week of June 19 on a mission — to find the Republican health care bill. Several senators took to the chamber’s floor early in the week to lament the absence of so-called regular order — a bill’s journey through subcommittee, committee and eventually the floor on its way toward consideration and possible passage — for the Senate’s version of the bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. Leadership has said the bill would be released Thursday with the expectation of a vote next week.
On Tuesday morning, Democratic Sens. Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey announced they intended to head over to the Congressional Budget Office to try and catch a glimpse of the bill, which is being partially scored in pieces by the non-partisan agency. The three had a meeting with the director of CBO, Keith Hall.
This is hardly the first time members have gone on missions to unearth what they deem missing legislation.
Earlier this year, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., dragged a copier through the halls of the Capitol with the hopes of photocopying the House Republicans’ health care plan. Certain factions of the Republican Party had complained at that time about the closed-door nature of consideration of that version of the bill, which eventually passed.
Perhaps the cutest stunt of late was in 2002 when Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott of Tennessee and his leadership team brought bloodhounds to a news conference to sniff out legislation that they said Democrats were stalling from reaching the chamber’s floor.