Progressive activists and Senate Democrats are trying to mount an all-out campaign to sink a Republican health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to pass before Congress's July 4 recess.
"We're in the red zone," Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said in an interview on Monday night. "People need to get out there and make their voices heard. We are telling everyone we can: 'Now is the time call your senator, to do everything you can to make sure senators who vote for this know they will be held accountable.'"
There's just one key problem with this effort: Nobody on the left knows exactly what they're fighting against, because Senate Republicans haven't yet released their bill. Axios reported on Monday that McConnell has no plans to release legislative text, and raised the possibility that the bill may not get a score from the Congressional Budget Office until after it passes the upper chamber.
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"This is not appearing on the front pages of newspapers, and that is by design," Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, told 10,000 listeners on the organization's monthly "Ready to Resist" conference call Sunday night. "This is a five-alarm fire. The rumor is that the Republican plan is to not show the final version of it until it's finally passed. This is red alert."
Progressive groups on the Hill were scarred this May by the suddenness and speed with which House Speaker Paul Ryan successfully rammed through the House health care vote after a previous aborted attempt suggested the bill was dead, with some admitting to getting caught "flat-footed." As McConnell looks likely to try another legislative lightning strike in the Senate, the left is trying to fortify their opposition — this time, before it's too late.