Senate Democrats to Hold Talkathon Protest over GOP Healthcare Bill

Senate Democrats are planning to have a late-night talkathon Monday to protest GOP’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, The Hill reports.

Democrats are expected to speak from the Senate floor until at least midnight protesting the GOP plan, which is still being debated on, amid Senate Republicans refusal to hold a public hearing, according to a Senate aide.

The late-night speeches, which are being organized by Senator Patty Murray, come amid growing pressure on Democrats to grind the Senate to a halt, as the fight over ObamaCare’s fate enters a key two-week stretch.

Indivisible, a progressive advocacy group, is urging its members to ask Democratic senators to “resist through procedure” by blocking routine committee hearings or filibustering on the Senate floor.

“Your Senator can slow the Senate down to a crawl and focus attention to TrumpCare by withholding his or her consent on legislative business,” according to the group’s June action plan for stopping the Republican healthcare bill.

Democrats have previously used all-night floor speeches paired with social media to try to build public support for their opposition to a policy or President Trump nominee. Democratic leadership hasn’t publicly backed bringing the Senate floor to a halt as part of the ObamaCare repeal fight, but members are weighing the strategy, according to CNN.

“I believe Democrats should do everything they can to oppose that legislation in any way that we can”, said Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a member of Senate Democratic leadership.

Democrats could invoke the “two-hour rule” which would automatically prevent any Senate committees from meeting after the Senate had been in session for two hours, and they could also drag out Senate floor procedures by objecting to routine requests on votes.

Senate Republicans are wanting to vote on their healthcare legislation this summer, as early as the end of this month but before late July when they leave for the August recess. They hold 52 seats, meaning they can lose two GOP senators and still pass a bill with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie.

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