July 7, 2017

Last Word, Last Night:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: If you're one of the 23 million people worried about losing health care coverage when the president signs the Republican health care bill into law? Today was a good day for you. And it was a very bad day for Republican senators who are hoping to pass that bill. The Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, might actually be one of the many Republicans who really doesn't want to pass that bill, even though he wrote it. Maybe that's why Mitch McConnell has never said anything that a majority leader usually says when he is really trying to pass a bill. Not one word about how confident he is the bill is going to pass. He has refused invitations from reporters to express any confidence at all. And every time he refuses that invitation he makes it easier for Republicans who are opposing the bill. Passing bills in the Senate is far more complicated than the House with the Senate's more complicated rules. The majority leader needs everything to line up just right. He needs to use party pressure which Mitch McConnell has chosen not to do. He needs to express confidence, and he never has. And he needs momentum. He needs to move as fast as possible, which McConnell has deliberately not done. Today Mitch McConnell admitted publicly in his home state of Kentucky that the Republicans might never be able to agree on a bill.

MITCH MCCONNELL: If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action on -- with regard to the private health insurance market must occur.

O'DONNELL: Majority leaders on their way to passing bills don't ever talk about what will happen if any don't pass the bill. Because the majority leader has to convince his own party to hold hands and vote for a bill that is going to pass. Remember when the rumor spread the week before the Fourth of July that Mitch McConnell was going to find way suddenly to revive his health care bill and have a vote on it on that Friday before the Fourth of July recess. It sounded impossible at the time and of course, it didn't happen. Now Republicans in the Congress and in the White House are letting it be known that the Senate will not vote on the health care bill next week when they are back in session. And any might -- my get to it a week after that. Momentum isn't everything in legislation. But it is important. And Mitch McConnell has completely lost the momentum. Today he sounded like a defeated legislator.

So where we end up if Republicans are not able to agree among themselves is the crisis will still be there. And we'll have to see what way forward is at that point.

___

The way forward is to keep Republicans from ever touching healthcare. That means we keep up the protests, keep up the phone calls, and remember in November of 2018. Vote them out forever.

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