Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Senate Republicans to use the next week to hold hearings to discuss the healthcare after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that discussion on the bill will be delayed while Sen. John McCain recovers from a procedure to remove a blood clot above his left eye.
"I'd suggest to my good friend, the Republican leader, that he use this time to hold public hearings on the bill," Schumer, D-N.Y., said. "My Republican friends proposed to pass legislation that would reorganize one-sixth of our economy, touch the lives of every American without a single hearing."
"Isn't that amazing? Not one hearing even though we've been on the bill for seven months now," Schumer continued. "Let's use this extra week or extra weeks to do what Republicans should have done a long time ago — hold public hearings."
Schumer formally requested the hearings in a letter to McConnell, R-Ky., earlier Monday. For weeks, Democrats have argued that Republicans are trying to jam through a vote on a healthcare bill, to which McConnell says the issue has been ongoing for the last seven years.
However, McConnell and Senate Republicans are focusing on Cabinet nomination votes this week with healthcare off the table for the time being. McCain, R-Ariz., made the announcement about the procedure late Saturday night.
After a new draft of the bill was released on Thursday, two Republicans — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced their opposition and plan to vote against a motion to proceed to debate on a bill. Opponents need only one more Republican to break ranks and oppose the legislation as many centrist Republicans and some Senate conservatives hold out support.
A score from the Congressional Budget Office could come as early as Tuesday.