Other Republicans say that there is still room to for lawmakers to make changes, but they warn lawmakers not to let ideal be the enemy of the good.
Except, as it turned out, the bill wasn't there.
"Maybe it's no surprise that Republicans are hiding this bill", he said.
"If people don't credibly think there are 51 votes for a plan, then the plan doesn't go forward", said Michael Needham, the president of Heritage Action for America, speaking of the Senate. Out they came about 30 seconds afterward. A number of them joined what quickly became a hunt through the Capitol for the bill, with lawmakers trailing reporters as they poked their heads into random offices to see if they could find the bill.
There was video. Around 4:40.
Yet a trio of Senate conservatives - Mr. Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah - have objected to the House GOP approach, on top of centrists who are anxious about unwinding Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid for the poor or defunding Planned Parenthood over its abortion practice as part of the draft plan. They've decried this as a new entitlement program, but House leadership also insists the plan has changed substantially since the leaked draft.
The revised draft is dated February 24, coming after another draft, dated February 10, that was leaked last week.
"We've been told it's take it or leave it, this is what you get".
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"Reports that the Energy and Commerce Committee is doing anything other than the regular process of keeping its members up to speed on latest developments in its jurisdictions are false", Walden said in a statement on Thursday.
"The draft of it is going to be available tomorrow for those of us on the health subcommittee to start poring through", said Representative Chris Collins of NY, a Trump ally and member of the health subcommittee of Energy and Commerce.
"I said, 'Well, I'm looking to read the bill, is this where I read the bill?'" Tonko said.
"It's the secret office of the secret bill", Paul said, with a copy machine in tow.
"I said, 'So, where is the room?' They said, 'We don't know that, sir'". He didn't get anywhere there, either. "It's under lock and key, and we're not allowed to have a copy of it".
Paul also claimed Republicans are acting so clandestinely because they are afraid of the perception that the bill would be barely different than Obamacare, which President Donald Trump vowed to repeal and replace on the campaign trail, during his transition to the White House and most recently Tuesday in his first joint address to Congress.
Members from both sides of the aisle on Thursday decried the secrecy over the bill, with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi drawing attention to it during a press conference on Thursday and Republican Sen.
Billy House and Arit John at Bloomberg on Wednesday reported that the House GOP plan was being kept in a secretive reading room and was only available to read in that room for members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and their staff starting Thursday.