Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) erupted Thursday at a Senate Finance Committee hearing over how Senate Republicans are conducting negotiations over the GOP-backed American Health Care Act. After finally squeezing an answer out of chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) confirming that there would not be any hearings on the bill, McCaskill went off on the lack of transparency and bipartisanship surrounding the discussions.
Hatch tried to assuage McCaskill by saying that Republicans have invited Democrats to share their ideas, eliciting a scoff from McCaskill. "When you say that you're inviting us and I heard you, Mr. Secretary, just say that you'd love our support — for what? We don't even know. We have no idea what's being proposed," McCaskill said, as Hatch sat by silently. "There's a group of guys in a back room somewhere that are making these decisions."
McCaskill acknowledged that Democrats had "made mistakes" when crafting the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's flagship health-care law, but she noted that at least there were hearings then where Republican amendments were proposed and accepted. "One of the criticisms that we got over and over again was that the vote was partisan," McCaskill said, referring to Democrats' process of passing ObamaCare. "Well, you couldn't have a more partisan exercise than what you're engaged in right now. We're not even going to have a hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy."
Watch it below. Becca Stanek