Tags: Tom Cotton | GOP | Healthcare Bill

Sen. Tom Cotton: Republicans Moving 'Too Quickly' on Healthcare Bill

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 10:44 AM

Republicans are moving "a little bit too quickly on healthcare reform," and more time should be taken to craft a bill that gets everything right, Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday.

"We are going to live with the healthcare reform we pass forever, or until it's changed in the far-distant future," the Arkansas Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"I don't think we need to introduce legislation on Monday and amend it on Wednesday. That is what they did with Obamacare and people have lost access to their doctor despite the promises that were made."

Congress has 535 people from all across the country, he continued, and should come together and talk at a more deliberate pace on a consensus solution.

"I don't want to get it fast," said Cotton. "The Senate certainly will not just be jammed with whatever the House sends over here.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he expects the Senate will take up the bill by the two-week Easter recess in April, The Hill reports, but Cotton said that may be too fast.

"Trying to pass this bill through committee in the House today and maybe pass it through the floor next week, even though it's much shorter than Obamacare, it's very hard for us to get our hand around what is in it," said Cotton.

"The language, as you may have seen it, it's highly technical and complicated and may only be 1,2,3 pages long, but you have to review it in the context of today's laws and today's regulations. So it's hard to say right now where one stands on any particular provision or especially the bill as a whole."

The new bill does have some good measures, including giving governors more flexibility to tailor Medicaid, said Cotton, but beyond that, it's too soon to say more about the bill.

"We have only had this bill in public 36 hours, and to rush it through this week and then vote on it within the next few weeks really does harken back to some of the problems that Obamacare was graded under," said Cotton.

Also on Wednesday, Cotton said that as a member of the Intelligence Committee, he's seen "no evidence" to back up President Donald Trump's weekend claims of wiretapping at Trump Tower, but at the same time, there are many anonymous sources telling the media "things that are very precise."

"The Intelligence Committee conducts regular oversight of the FBI and Department of Justice's FISA court applications, as well as FISA court activity," Cotton said. "It's part of our broader view of Russia's activities to undermine confidence in our political system last year.

"I suspect we will be looking into these matters. These are knowable facts and we hope to learn them and hope to be able to share them with the American people and share as many conclusions as we can."

Cotton said he has not seen evidence of the FISA order, but noted that as several experts have already said, it's not unusual to have incidental collection on an American citizen.

Cotton on Wednesday also discussed an immigration bill he and Sen. David Perdue are sponsoring to refocus the nation's immigration system on high-skilled immigrants who can contribute to the American economy.

"The president has said in public as he told us yesterday he wants to move in the direction of, for instance, Canada and Australia, and focus more on what he calls a merit-based system," said Cotton. "Our legislation is the first step in that."

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Republicans are moving "a little bit too quickly on healthcare reform," and more time should be taken to craft a bill that gets everything right, Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday.
Tom Cotton, GOP, Healthcare Bill
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2017-44-08
Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017 10:44 AM
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