House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dubbed the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill a "stinkaroo" Wednesday as Senate Republicans look toward a possible vote on the legislation next week.
"This is really a stinkaroo, this bill," Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference, saying also that the bill "with stiff competition" is their "latest and worst version."
Pelosi's take came Republicans look to gain momentum toward a vote on the legislation, which Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said would happen next week after meeting with Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Ala., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala., who holds a key vote on the bill after voting against the "skinny repeal" bill ahead of the August recess.
The push for a vote has come swiftly for Republicans, who have to vote the bill by Sept. 30 in order to pass it using the reconciliation tool and only 51 votes rather than the usual 60 votes. A day after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., admitted the bill's momentum has come suddenly, Pelosi said they weren't caught off guard by the recent Republican efforts, pointing to the deadline next week.
"They had said to the American people it's dead, it's over, we've done it, but when ... the parliamentarian of the Senate determined that their ability to do a bill with 51 votes would end on September 30th is when they knew they had to ... try again and soon," Pelosi said. "I think they like the fact that people are paying attention to hurricanes and earthquakes and DACA and this and that, and that they might be able to sneak this by."
"But it's so terrible and people are understanding what it means in their lives," Pelosi said. "So I feel optimistic ... But [I'm] never surprised around here."
The longtime California Democrat said there will be a "day of action" on Saturday and likely other rallies and protests in the coming week ahead of a potential vote and the deadline.