Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a procedural vote on a Republican bill – authored by vulnerable North Carolina Senator Tom Tillis – which they say will retain protection for existing conditions if the Supreme Court rejects the ACA. This would give GOP senators something they can point to as proof that they want to continue these defenses, as well as allow them to vote against and defeat the Democracy Bill on Thursday.
Democrats called McConnell’s move a “show vote,” arguing that past bills passed by Republicans to demonstrate their support for maintaining protection for existing conditions did not live up to that promise.
“Senate Republicans are once again buying a bill for nothing to fool Americans into thinking their pre-existing relatives will be protected. The only people covered by the bill are Senate Republicans,” said Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of the West. Virginia.
It comes back and forth after Schumer took a step that is rarely used – essentially taking control of the word from McConnell, who usually controls the Senate’s schedule – and forced a procedural vote Thursday in the Democratic bill. Democrats are eager to address the White House’s attempts to try to kill the health care law and are looking for ways to oppose the speedy confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Connie Barrett ahead of the election, given that the Supreme Court will hear the Appeal. of the Trump administration to the ACA in November.
Democrats have imposed small procedural delays in Senate action since Barrett was appointed in protest of her nomination, which they do not have the votes to stop. Democrats are expected to continue to impose procedural votes, which could force the Senate to return to the session next week, when senators had to be on their election break.
McConnell and his leadership told their members that the chamber could meet next week if Democrats do not cooperate. The topic appeared at the GOP Senate lunch earlier Wednesday, according to a participant.
Asked if the Senate would be on holiday next week, as scheduled, Senate majority John Bean said: “It depends on the Democrats.”
Unanimous consent is required to organize pro forma sessions – where no business is conducted – during the Senate break. If the Senate sits, it is unclear whether there will be votes. If there are no votes, then senators running for re-election will still be able to campaign at home next week.
This story has been updated with additional developments.