Key GOP senator on health care plan: ‘I haven’t seen the bill’

A lawmaker on the working group for the Senate Republicans’ health care bill said Tuesday that he still hasn’t seen a draft of the legislation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised to unveil on Thursday.

“I haven’t seen the bill,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a video he posted to Facebook. Lee is one of 13 members of the all-GOP working group tasked with drafting the bill.

Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, during a Bloomberg Television interview on June 2. (Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“It has become increasingly apparent in the last few days that even though we thought that we were going to be in charge of writing a bill within this working group, it’s not being written by us,” Lee said.

Instead, a small group of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate are writing it, Lee said.

“If you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration, I share it wholeheartedly,” he said. “I’m told that [the bill] exists, I just haven’t been able to see it yet.”

The Republicans’ secretive process behind the health care bill has provoked the ire of Senate Democrats, who staged a talkathon Monday night, but that frustration has apparently expanded to some members of the GOP caucus. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, reportedly said that a vote next week wouldn’t give her enough time to make a decision.

But Lee said he would “be fine” voting on the bill soon as long as he can see a draft before the vote, adding, “We should have been able to see it weeks ago if we’re going to be voting on it next week.”

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