…But one could come soon – NEWS FLASH!: Yesterday we learned that Republicans have a secret plan that they will only let House Republican members and staffers view in a “dedicated reading room.” A Bloomberg article – Republicans Hide New Obamacare Draft Under Shroud of Secrecy – sheds light on this information. There are reports that two House committees – Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce – will begin marking up this secret language next week. We need to emphasize the need to provide an open and transparent process so that there is an opportunity for input, hearings, and a financial “score” from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before the first vote is cast. See below for action steps related to the secret plan.
Town Halls (or not) are having an impact: During last week’s congressional recess, Republican representatives returned to their home states to face scared and angry constituents at local town halls. In Washington, Rep. Dave Reichert refused to hold an in-person town hall and instead held a Facebook Live event and asked citizens to contact his office directly to set up a meeting. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers did not show up at a town hall set up by Fuse Washington but sent her staff to take notes; large numbers went to her office to protest. She did hold a telephone town hall. Rep. Dan Newhouse did not hold a meeting, so 140 Okanogan County residents went to “office hours” with Newhouse’s staff in Omak to request a meeting with him and express their positions. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler held a town hall meeting and was faced with intense questioning, especially on health care.