GOP Senators Shrug Off Calls to Hold Health Care Hearings

With the Senate’s health care overhaul stalled while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery, some Republican senators are not eager to heed Democrats’ calls to hold hearings on the legislation. “I don’t think there’s any need for that when the bill is public. It’s available to everyone to see, as people have not been shy about commenting on it,” Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey told The Daily Beast. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe echoed Toomey’s sentiments. “I don’t think so, no. Everybody knows what it is. They’re either for it or against it. Democrats are going to be against it regardless,” Inhofe told The Daily Beast. Democrats have criticized Republicans for using the budget reconciliation process to take up the bill, meaning it would need a simply majority rather than 60 votes. Both supporters and opponents of the bill have acknowledged that the delay in holding a procedural vote makes its passage less likely, as two of the 52 GOP senators have already come out against the bill.

—Andrew Desiderio