Senators on defensive over all-male healthcare panel

Angelica Greene
May 10, 2017

When the reporter asked Monday why Blum was insisting on seeing identification papers of people attending a town hall meeting, Blum said he wanted attendees from his congressional district, adding, "We don't want people from Chicago there or Des Moines there or Minneapolis there". "I don't even know if they had any closed meetings".

One of the earliest controversies in the House's health care bill was the issue of tax credits.

"Everybody ought to be at the table", Sen. They will want to give individuals more time to transition off Medicaid and provide additional safety nets to ensure that people who may become ineligible for the program have another means to buy insurance.

"The leaders have the right to choose whomever they wish", Republican Senator Susan Collins - one of the 21 women now serving in the Senate - told the Times on Monday.

"McConnell stood up and said, 'Please come and participate, '" Sen.

"The working group that counts is all 52 of us", McConnell told reporters, referring to all 52 Republican senators in the 100-member chamber. "Nobody's being excluded. Everybody's at the table". Instead McConnell said Tuesday that the real work of writing health care legislation is being done by the entire Republican caucus at their regular lunch meetings. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME have already said they'd prefer to keep funding the women's health care provider.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, also faced tough questions as to why someone like Collins - who has been publicly involved in the health care debate - wasn't included in the working group.

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito entered the meeting Tuesday morning, saying she had been invited to this session.

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The secretive nature of the Senate talks is drawing some fire from members of both parties. Sen.

But other Republicans said cutbacks were important to save taxpayer money. She also said, "I think they are opening up those meetings".

"I want to make sure that the input of women is received, I want to make sure that the input of rural America is received", Murkowski said. "This has got to be a process that represents all of the constituencies".

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington told reporters, "We are going to keep pushing Senate Republicans to take a different path than the House did and sending a very clear message to the 13 Republican men now negotiating a secret health care plan, which I really hope is not happening in the men's locker room at the very least".

Facing solid Democratic opposition and controlling the Senate 52-48, Republicans can lose only two GOP senators' votes but prevail with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie.

Five days after the House narrowly approved a GOP health care bill after months of internal divisions, Senate Democrats used a letter to Republican leaders arguing that the legislation faces "an uncertain path to the president's desk".

The Senate Republican approach ignores a provision of the annual budget blueprint adopted by Republicans in January.

Other reports by GizPress

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