Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Senate Republicans to avoid following the lead of their colleagues in the House and to work on a bipartisan basis on healthcare reform rather than pushing for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
In his speech on the Senate floor Monday, Schumer said the American Health Care Act, which the House passed on Thursday, was "barely legislation" and may be a "menace" to Americans if it becomes the law of the land. He also called on the Senate to toss the AHCA "out the window."
"The way the House bill was put together, in such a secretive and slapdash way — it's barely legislation and it well could be a menace to millions of American families, means that the Senate should not even come close to passing a bill like this," Schumer said.
"Trumpcare is a giant, broken promise to working people, the hard-working people of this great country of ours," Schumer said, adding that he hopes the Senate adopts a bipartisan approach on healthcare.
"I hope my Republican friends toss this House bill out the window and resist the temptation to follow the same partisan rushed process," he said. "I hope my friends on the other side of the aisle drop repeal, which is hurting our healthcare system right now ... and start working with Democrats to make our healthcare better."
Multiple GOP senators revealed last week that they will not take up the House bill in the Senate and, rather, will draft their own bill.
The bill is being drafted by a group of 13 senators, which includes no women. Among those excluded from the group is Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a high-profile GOP centrist, who released her own healthcare proposal with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., a physician, in January.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Monday that any movement on healthcare reform out of the Senate will not be "quick, or simple, or easy."
"The process will not be quick, or simple, or easy," McConnell said. "But it must be done. It is the least both parties owe to countless Americans who suffer under Obamacare and will continue to suffer if we do not act."