Speed Reads

oh come on

Republican congressman admits he didn't read all of the AHCA bill before voting yes

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he didn't read the entire text of the Republicans' revised American Health Care Act bill before voting in favor of it, but it's fine because his staff members picked up the slack.

The language in the bill, including two new amendments, was made available only within the past 24 hours, and Blitzer asked Collins if he was able to "actually sit down" and read it all before Thursday morning's vote. "I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not, but I can also assure you my staff did," Collins responded. "We have to rely on our staff." Blitzer pressed on, telling Collins that the legislation affects the economy and "millions and millions of Americans," and asking if he thought it was "important" for him to take his time with the text.

"You know, I have to rely on my staff and I can probably tell you that I read every word and I wouldn't be telling you the truth, nor would any other member," Collins said. "We rely on our staff and we rely on our committees and I'm comfortable that I understand this bill in its entirety without poring through every word. I'm just being quite honest, that's the way it is." Collins did not reveal if he read the parts that let states decide if rape is a pre-existing condition, cut funding for special-needs students, and make steep and structural cuts to Medicaid, or if he left those sections to his staff.