Some Republicans are lamenting that the Senate is bypassing its committees in drafting a healthcare reform bill.
"I'd like a committee process," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a key centrist vote. "I just think when you have an opportunity to flesh these things out in committees you get to a good place quicker."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., blamed Democrats for the process.
"We're trying to do it from a one-party perspective because no Democrat is willing to help us," he said Monday. "No, this is not the best way to do healthcare. But it's the way we're having to do it."
Democrats have been criticizing Republicans for not going through committees to draft the Senate version of the House-passed American Health Care Act.
"There is a group of guys in a backroom somewhere that is making these decisions," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said during a budget hearing last week.
Other Republicans defended the process, which started after the House passed the American Health Care Act last month in a 217-213 vote.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., told the Washington Examiner that Senate leadership is creating a working draft that includes some of the ideas fleshed out in working groups that have met several times a week since the House bill was passed.
"I think it will be more opportunity for those ideas to be out there in a transparent way," he said.
Since the House vote in early May, more than a dozen Senate Republicans have been meeting twice a week to hash out ideas. The full GOP conference also has held luncheons three times a week to get updates on the talks.
The working group started off with about 14 Republicans but has since been opened to all members. Leadership aimed to get lawmakers from both sides of the ideological spectrum together to bridge major differences over Medicaid and tax credits.
Republican leadership has opted to not move its legislation through committees. The GOP is using a fast-track process called reconciliation that limits debate time and lets a bill be approved with only 51 votes instead of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.
But the drafting process has opened Republicans up to attacks from Democrats that they are drafting the bill, expected to be far different from the House's American Health Care Act, behind closed doors.
No legislative text has been announced and some regular working group members said that they haven't seen any text yet.
"I think I will see the text before it goes to the" Congressional Budget Office for a score, said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said that "there will be plenty of time for amendments to be written and offered and voted on in the floor and it will be an open process."
Leadership has wanted to vote on legislation by the start of the week-long July 4 recess.
But some senators were skeptical leadership could make that deadline.
"They've got to get something down pretty fast with information to back it up as well, and that is going to take some time from CBO," said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. "I don't think there is anything magical personally about July 4, but others may have a different opinion."
• Washington Examiner Senior Healthcare Writer Kimberly Leonard contributed to this report.