Cotton on GOP Health Care: Not ‘Feasible’ to Release a Bill Written in Secret and Expect to Pass in 18 Days

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” while discussing the failure of the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said, “To release a bill that was written in secret and then expect to pass it in 18 days, I just don’t think was feasible.”

Partial transcript as follows:

COTTON: I would say the president is right Democrats gave us Obamacare. The failure of the bill this week doesn’t solve the problems of Obamacare, it is continuing to get worse and our healthcare system is groaning under the weight of Obamacare. So we have to revisit it and now have the time to do it in a more deliberate and careful fashion. But ultimately I don’t think you can lay the defeat of this bill last week on any single faction in the House of Representatives. Some conservatives opposed it. Some moderates opposed it, even a chairman men of powerful committees opposed it. The problem is the bill and process. Healthcare is a very complicated issue to release a bill written in secret and expect to pass it in 18 days. I just don’t think was feasible.

DICKERSON: So you said written in secret, so that is on Paul Ryan then, he controls that process. So are you saying basically that the House leaders, the House speaker did it — the process was poorly handled?

COTTON: I think you can’t expect to try to solve a problem that addresses one-sixth of the country’s economy and touches every American in a very personal and intimate way and 18 days, when the Democrats came to power in 2009 for 60 years at least they had been pursuing a national healthcare system, yet they didn’t introduce legislation for eight months and didn’t pass it for over a year of Barack Obama’s first term, so it went through very public hearings and took testimony, developed fact-based foundation of knowledge, President Obama traveled around the country around town hauls and spoke to a joint session of Congress. I am not saying we needed 14 months to do this, but I think a more careful and deliberate approach which we now have time to do because we have to the revisit healthcare anyway would get us further down the path to a solution. I believe both moderates and conservatives made a lot of concessions already. I have friends like Jim Jordan in the freedom caucus and Charle Dent, they are good men and want to work together and find a solution that both they and everyone in between can agree to with time I think we can do that.

DICKERSON: So your judgment, so nobody mistakes your message is the house rushed it?

COTTON: I think the house moved a bit too fast, 18 days is simply not enough time for such major landmark legislation.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.