Sen. Cory Booker: Unlike AHCA deliberations, Constitutional Convention was “public, open, transparent”

Cory BookerWhat is interesting is, if you think about the forming of our country in that debate–again, the Constitutional Convention was public, open, transparent–issues were debated.

In fact, through the process, the very Constitutional Convention of this country–perhaps some of the biggest issues of humanity–were debated in an open forum. We have records of those discussions, records of those deliberations. Everything from the representation that each State should have to issues as profound as slavery were right there, out in the open.

—Sen. Cory Booker (D–NJ)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Jeff Merkley: Affordable healthcare within scope of FDR’s and founders’ vision

Jeff MerkleyHonor the role and responsibility of representing all of the people of your State, not simply powerful companies and your richest constituents but all of your citizens. That was the vision on which our country was founded, and that is the spirit in which Franklin Roosevelt said: This test of our progress is not whether we give more of the abundance to those who have the most, but enough to those who have little. Enough means affordable, accessible healthcare for every single person in America.

—Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–OR)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Cory BookerWe have seen this body, in the very short period of time I have been here, begin to undermine not just things that happened under the Obama administration but to undermine traditions that go back decades, if not more than a century.

The longest filibuster on this floor … It was actually almost exactly 60 years ago. Continue reading Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Sen. Christopher Murphy: Senate not fulfilling role envisioned by Connecticut Compromise

Christopher MurphyThere is, right outside this Chamber, a picture of the authors of the Connecticut Compromise, two of the Connecticut delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

The idea of the House is that it is supposed to respond, perhaps, more quickly to the temporary passions of the public, which is ironic, given that the passion of the public today is in deep opposition to this piece of legislation.

This place [the Senate] is supposed to be able to step back and look at the long term and look at the long view.

—Sen. Christopher Murphy (D–CT)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Charles Schumer: Markup for Obamacare “one of the longest in history”

Charles SchumerThey considered nearly 300 amendments [to the Affordable Care Act] during the 13-day markup. That was one of the longest in history, as it should have been on such a major bill.

—Sen. Charles Schumer (D–NY)
Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Ron Wyden: Obamacare Senate session the second-longest in US history

Ron WydenAs of now, there will not be a single Democratic amendment adopted in the Finance Committee. When the legislation [the Affordable Care Act] went to the floor, the Senate spent 25 consecutive legislative days on healthcare reform–the second longest consecutive session in history. That is how the legislative process ought to look: The committees do the hard work in the open, gather input from the American people, have a chance–Democrats and Republicans–to work together.

—Sen. Ron Wyden (D–OR)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Thomas Carper: Obamacare “looked a lot like” what Republicans offered in 1993

Thomas CarperWe did our homework and found that in 1993, when First Lady Hillary Clinton came up and worked on something called HillaryCare, the Republicans felt like they had to come up with an alternative, which was provided by the people at Heritage, a Republican think tank.

When Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts and was going to run for President, he took that 1993 legislation, which called for creating exchanges in every State and marketplaces and large purchasing pools where people who didn’t have healthcare coverage could buy healthcare coverage in their State.

[The Affordable Care Act] looked a lot like what was offered in 1993, and it looked a lot like what was actually adopted and I think worked with relative success in Massachusetts.

—Sen. Thomas Carper (D–DE)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Kamala Harris: GOP health care bill “is the least popular piece of legislation in modern history”

Kamala HarrisOnly 20 percent of Americans support this bill. A majority opposes it in every State in this country. It is the least popular piece of legislation in modern history.

—Sen. Kamala Harris (D–CA)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Jeff Merkley: Markup of Obamacare in HELP committee was its longest ever

Jeff MerkleyIn that year [2009], in the HELP Committee–Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee–there were 47 hearings, roundtables, and walkthroughs, a markup that went for more than a month–the longest markup in that committee in the history of the United States of America; a markup that considered over 300 amendments; a markup with, in fact, a group of Senators, bipartisan, sitting around the table with the television cameras rolling while they debated those amendments and voted on those amendments [to the Affordable Care Act].

—Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–OR)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Not since before WWI has there been “such a secret, partisan process for passing a major bill”

Dianne FeinsteinI just have to say, this is the least transparent process for a major piece of legislation I have seen in my 24 years in the Senate. Former Senate Historian Don Ritchie said that you have to look back before World War I to find another example of such a secret, partisan process for passing a major bill. The Senate healthcare bill in fact is being written behind closed doors.

—Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–CA)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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