Democratic Senator Chris Murphy Delivers One Stinging Verbal Left Hook to the GOP’s Secret Trumpcare Legislative Stunt—June 20, 2017
The American people and their opinions be damned. Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Obstructionist/Trump Lieutenant” McConnell remains hell bent on ramming his secretly crafted Trumpcare bill through the Senate by the end of next week, even though this legislation has not been deliberated upon by even one Senate committee. It’s party over country, and Trump above all else. From the proposals that have leaked out from his GOP Extremist Gang of 13, Trump-McConnellcare, is even worse than the House’s Trump-Ryancare. Under the Senate bill, states would be given even more sweeping authority than the House-passed bill to opt out of federal insurance standards established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. States would get even wider latitude to regulate health insurance markets. Millions of people with pre-existing conditions would fare worse under the Senate’s legislation. Medicaid, a perennial GOP bugaboo, would be radically slashed and ended as an entitlement. Cuts would start later than in the House bill, but eventually go deeper (Huffington Post, Cohn, 6/20/17, NY Times, Kaplan & Pear, 6/19/17). Remember, that any bill then passed by the Senate would go to a conference committee stacked with GOP loyalists who would settle differences with the House’s version. The final bill will end up destroying Obamacare, throwing millions of Americans off health insurance rolls. Trump will sign it in a nanosecond and claim “victory.” “Victory” for the selfish and 1%ers who will get Y uu ge tax breaks.
Unable to filibuster this kick 23 plus million Americans off the health care bus bill, Democrats, under Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (R-NY), tried another tactic. They started to slow down routine Senate business to a crawl and began attack after attack on the secrecy of this horrible GOP bill. This slowdown started on the night of 6/19/2017. Before this “Team Blue” slow down, Schumer asked McConnell for a closed- door meeting with all 100 Senators to talk about the bill. McConnell refused. Schumer asked for more than 10 hours ahead of the vote to review the bill. McConnell would not commit to that. Democrats made 15 requests for the bill to be heard in committee and to go through normal procedure. McConnell blocked every one of them (Kos, McCarter, 6/20/17). Remember, health care represents 1/6 of the economy. When Obamacare was proposed, it went through over a year’s worth of public hearings and numerous committees, the normal way legislation is drafted and passed. Of course, the GOP wants to push this bill in secret, because as one Republican aide said, “We aren’t stupid. Letting the public read the bill—you know, democracy—would jeopardize their (the GOP’s) chances of undoing the Affordable Care Act (Obamcare) ‘root and branch,’ as they long promised to do (LA Times, Lemieux, S., 6/13/17).” Translation: the will of the people, democracy must yield to Dictator Donald and his rabid followers. Never mind that Trumpcare has underwater ratings in every state, even in “ultra-Red” Oklahoma (Kaiser Family Foundation, YouGov, and Public Policy Polling).
Five hours into their stall down/talk-a-thon 43-year old freshman Senator Chris Murphy (D-Ct.) delivered one stinging verbal left hook to the Senate GOP’s Secret Trumpcare legislative machinations. Here are the emotional and powerful words Sen. Murphy delivered:
“Why are my constituents not allowed to see the details of what’s about to happen to their lives? My constituents even though they’re represented by Democrats, have no less rights than the citizens of Iowa or the citizens of Texas who are represented by Republicans. Why are my constituents not allowed to see the details of what’s about to happen to their lives? Why are only a select group of Americas able to have a voice inside that room? Why are the people of Connecticut going to get like three minutes to look at this bill once it hits the senate floor? My constituents are Americans just like the constituents in Republican states are Americans. They deserve to know what’s about to happen to them. You’re breaking the Senate. And it won’t get put back together that easily (CAP Action, 7:31 PM—19 Jun 201, @CAPAction).”
Kudos, Senator Murphy! No one could have called McConnell and Company out better. We are all Americans, “Red Staters” and “Blue Staters,” as Barack Obama famously said in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote address that started his ascent to the White House. GOPers, as Murphy noted, talk states’ rights, but forget that states also include ones that voted “Blue.” The GOP often accuses Democrats of “elitism,” but Murphy is rightly accusing them of being the elitists, barring others from the discussion and not being in touch with the rest of America. Murphy has it spot on. Sen. McConnell and Company are “breaking the Senate,” destroying the collegial rules that have operated since the beginning of our republic just for selfish partisanship.
This is not the first time that Sen. Murphy has spoken eloquently on the Senate floor. Murphy, after the 2016 Orlando, Fla. nightclub massacre, launched a 15-hour filibuster with 39 other Democratic Senators to force a vote on meaningful gun control measures. Murphy, who was shaken by the 12/14/2012 Sandy Hook, Ct. school massacre, decided after Orlando, that “enough is enough.” Even though his gun control measures failed to pass, he forced McConnell to hear him and his fellow colleagues out on this issue.
Murphy is considered by many to be a “Team Blue” wunderkind with a promising political future (CQ Almanac 14). Of Irish and Polish-American descent, Murphy’s father is a prominent lawyer, his mother an elementary school teacher. His grandfather and great-grandfather worked as laborers (CQ 14). After college, Murphy became a campaign manager for a Democrat who fell just 1,587 votes short of ousting GOP incumbent Congresswoman Nancy Johnson. After serving in the Ct. House and State Senate, Murphy defeated Cong. Nancy Johnson in 2006 Murphy then represented Ct.’s 5th Congressional District (CD). The Ct. 5th included Democratic Waterbury, New Britain, and Meriden, as well as small GOP-leaning towns (Barone & CQ 14 Almanacs). Murphy has a knack for making friends among Democrats and has a generally progressive record. He strongly supported health care reform from the start, even though many health insurance employees lived in his district. When Independent Joe Lieberman retired, Murphy ran for his Sen. seat in 2012. He defeated free-spending multi-millionaire World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon (CQ 14). Again, kudos Sen. Murphy for your eloquent attack against McConnell’s stealth health care Senate bill. Democrats must join Sen. Murphy and keep fighting against the draconian Trump-McConnell health care bill. They must continue to pressure at least 3 GOPers to join them to defeat this secretly crafted anti middle class safety net bill.