In a rare move Senate Republicans are planning to bypass the usual committee process and send the ObamaCare repeal and "replace" bill directly to the floor for debate and a vote. While Democrats gave the American people more than three months to read and discuss the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in the House and Senate have a different plan in mind.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, CNN reports, told reporters late Tuesday afternoon the American Health Care Act, which would repeal and supposedly replace ObamaCare, "probably" will go "straight to the floor."
"Because there has already been a lot of consultations on a bicameral basis to get us here," he added.
Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hinted as much. "I encourage every member to review it because I hope to call it up when we receive it from the House," he said.
The bill writing process was kept hidden from the American people – even most Republicans and Democrats in Congress were not allowed to see the drafts – and introduced in the House Monday evening. House committees are scheduled to vote on the legislation Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM. Assuming passage, the full House will vote on the bill. Should all Democrats oppose it, Republicans will need all but 21 of their House members to support it.
At that point it will skip Senate Committees and go straight to the floor for debate and a vote. A simple majority is needed for passage. Should it pass, President Trump has said he supports it and is expected to sign it into law.
By comparison, the Affordable Care Act was introduced in the House on September 17, 2009. After passing through committee it passed the House three weeks later, on October 8, 2009. It passed the full Senate December 24, 2009. After reconciliations between the House and Senate it was signed into law March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama – more than six months after it was first introduced.