With only hours left until a vote, lawmakers and Americans have yet to see Republican health care bill
Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today spoke on the Senate floor against the yet-to-be-seen "skinny repeal" bill. Bennet urged his colleagues to abandon partisan gamesmanship and start over with a bipartisan process.
"What I deeply regret about this debate is, whether we pass this bill or whether we don't, the end product is not going to improve health care for the people I represent," Bennet said. "There are people who like the Affordable Care Act, there are people who don't like the Affordable Care Act, but everybody is deeply dissatisfied, as they should be, with the way our health care system works. And what we should do is abandon this process, and instead go to committee. [We] are perfectly capable of running a bipartisan process that could lead us to a place where we actually are making things better for people who may be Republicans and Democrats, but for whom health care is not political; it's about their families and about their future. That's what we should be keeping in mind, instead of just the next election."
In commenting on the impending vote, Bennet called on his Republican colleagues to reconsider.
"I can understand why there's pressure to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal Obamacare," Bennet said. " But I don't understand the impulse of writing a bill in secret and not having a single committee hearing-not one committee hearing in the Senate...What [Republicans] are trying to do is figure out what they can eke out across the line here. They're calling it ‘skinny repeal.' But we should just stop. We've wasted six months-not of our time, but of the American people's time."
Bennet closed his speech by recalling the history of our nation and encouraging a return to bipartisan cooperation.
"For [our Founders], a fundamental principle was that you had to unleash the imagination of people with different sets of experiences, different sets of opinions, different geographic places in order to do the right thing for this country," Bennet said. "And that's what we should do today."
Click HERE to watch the full speech.