- REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
House Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee staged a marathon fight to slow down the GOP’s Obamacare replacement, but ultimately failed to stop the bill.
After a 27-hour delay, the Energy and Commerce committee approved the American Health Care Act in a party line vote.
The debate began on Wednesday at around 10:36 a.m. ET and concluded at roughly 2:02 p.m. ET on Thursday, running 27 hours and 26 minutes according to C-Span.
The bill will next be considered by the House Budget committee.
Democrats attempted to add amendments, including forcing President Donald Trump to turn over 10 years of tax returns in order for the bill to pass, delaying passage of the bill until the Congressional Budget Office scores it, eliminating changes to the funding of Medicaid expansion, and renaming the bill the “Republican Pay More For Less Care Act.”
Another delay tactic Democrats used was to force clerks of the committee to read the 66-page legislation they were considering in its entirety. It took just over an hour.
While all of the Democrats’ amendments were batted down by Republicans on the committee – the GOP outnumbers Democrats 31 to 23 on the panel – the tactic produced substantial delays.
The House Ways and Means committee also marked up the bill, but eventually passed it at around 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday morning in a party-line vote.
It’s doubtful that the delay will do much to change or block the eventual passage of the law, but it could slow down the process enough for the score from the CBO – which would show the AHCA’s impact on the budget and Americans’ health coverage – to be released in the middle of the broader House debate. That score is expected some time next week.