Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is mounting his own protest over the lack of transparency on the legislation by calling an emergency health care hearing set for Monday.
Its a small group of Republicans, meeting in secret [and] none of us on the Democratic side have a clue as to what theyre doing, Blumenthal told the Hartford Current.
How do we vote in the next few weeks on a bill that has not been reduced to writing, that has been done in secret without any kind of public hearing? he continued. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) has promised that the Senate will repeal and replace ObamaCare no later than the end of July.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asking for an all-senators meeting to discuss the legislation on Friday, saying that Republicans and Democrats "need to come together to find solutions to America's challenges."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday was cautiously optimistic that more voices will eventually be heard on healthcare.
The first step in this may be crafted among a small group of people, but then everyone's going to get to weigh in, he told CBS John Dickerson on Face the Nation.
"You know, it's going to take days and weeks to work through that in the Senate, he added.
The Florida senator warned against rushing the bill to the Senate floor, something else Republicans criticized Democrats for doing during the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
So I have no problem with a group of people meeting to conduct a proposal. But ultimately that proposal cannot be rushed to the floor, Rubio said. And I don't think the Senate rules would permit it. So it's fine if they're working on the starting point. But ultimately we're all going to see what's in it.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said she is unhappy with the secrecy surrounding the deliberations.
"I think that we do better as a body when we respect the process. And the process allows for committee involvement, debate and discussion," Murkowski told the Alaska Dispatch News.
"If I'm not going to see a bill before we have a vote on it, that's just not a good way to handle something that is as significant and important as health care, she said.
McConnell has implied he wants to aim for a healthcare vote
Reports surfaced Saturday in CNN and Politico that Democrats planned to hold the Senate floor until at least midnight on Monday in response to the lack of committee hearings being held by Senate Republicans.
I think that the Democrats in the Congress should do everything possible to defeat that legislation, which is, again, to my mind, unspeakable, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told CNNs Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday.
I dont know about shutting the Senate down. But I think youre going to see some effort to highlight that this has never been done before, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told Politico.