House Democrats are poised to advance a flood of proposals designed to address the problems dogging President Obama’s signature healthcare law –– a move that puts pressure on Republican and Democratic leaders alike.
The strategy marks a pivot for the Democrats, as party leaders have throughout the year discouraged members from offering improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), fearing they would highlight problems with the law and divert attention from the Republicans’ months-long struggle to repeal and replace it.
But rank-and-file Democrats are getting restless, with some saying they can no longer tell constituents they oppose the Republicans’ repeal bills without offering solutions of their own.
“When I go back to the district, they want to know what you’re going to do,” said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.).
“Resisting is no longer just enough, they want to see what your plan is.”
Following the early-morning failure of the Senate Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal bill on Friday, the Democrats –– leaders and rank-and-file members alike –– ramped up the pressure on GOP leaders to reach across the aisle and work on bipartisan ACA fixes.
“We can go right to the committees and have a discussion on how we keep America healthy,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters in the Capitol.
The bipartisan approach has been floated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but House GOP leaders don’t appear ready to move beyond their repeal effort. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday urged Senate Republicans not to abandon the fight.