Gardner Promised Obamacare Replacement Wouldn’t Be Drafted ‘Behind Closed Doors’
During a conference call in February, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner assured worried constituents that they would have plenty of opportunities to weigh in on any legislation to replace Obamacare.
“It’s important to me that this debate be open and that the American people see what’s happening and taking place,” said Gardner. “So Sandy, I think as this committee hearings and legislation is being is drafted, it’s not going to be something behind closed doors, everybody is going to be a part of it. It’s important that we get this right.”
Now, about four months later, the Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate, which includes Gardner himself, has no plans to hold public hearings on their Obamacare replacement legislation, currently being drafted in secret by 13 senators, including Gardner.
As U.S. Senate President Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained this week after invoking a rule that would move the health care bill to a full Senate vote with little or no chance for amendments:
“We’ve been dealing with this issue for seven years. It’s not a new thing,” McConnell said, arguing that there was little new left to be discussed in a public forum. “Nobody’s hiding the ball here,” he said. “You’re free to ask anybody anything. But there have been gazillions of hearings on this subject, when they were in the majority, when we were in the majority. We understand this issue pretty well and we’re now working on coming up with a solution.”
Despite his previous promises, Gardner hasn’t objected to the secrecy ― and it doesn’t appear that reporters have asked him about it.
But U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has objected, saying she “has a problem with it” and the secrecy is “just not a good way to handle something that is as significant and important […]