KHN Morning Briefing

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For Democrats, Trump’s ‘Mean’ Comments Could Be A Gift On A Silver Platter

The party hopes to use the sentiment as a unifying message against Republicans. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders says he supports any tactic the Democrats take to "defeat that horrific piece of legislation."

Politico: Democrats Use Trump 'Mean' Comment To Tar GOP
Democrats are seeking to capitalize on President Donald Trump calling the Republican health care bill "mean" ahead of the Senate's vote to repeal Obamacare, seeing it as a pivotal moment in an issue that could drive the 2018 midterm elections. The comments from Trump, made privately to senators last week, were largely overshadowed by a mass shooting at a Congressional baseball practice and new developments in the special counsel's investigation into Trump and his associates. (Dawsey and Kim, 6/18)

Bloomberg: Sanders Signals Backing Of Senate Slowdown Over Health-Care Bill 
Senator Bernie Sanders signaled support for Democrats trying to shut down Senate business in response to Republicans’ closed-door work on legislation to replace Obamacare. ... CNN reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources, that Democrats are considering steps to halt Senate business to protest Republicans working on their health bill in secret. (McLaughlin, 6/18)

And in other news from the Democrats' side of the aisle —

CQ Roll Call: Schumer Asks For Full Senate Conversation On Health Care
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is making public his “dismay” at Republicans’ closed-door negotiations on the health care bill by inviting all senators to an open meeting on health care in the Old Senate Chamber next week. “We believe we all owe it to our constituents to meet to discuss your potential legislation that would profoundly impact so many American lives,” the New York Democrat said in a letter sent to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Friday. (Raman, 6/16)

CQ Roll Call: Democrats Plan Protest Of Advancing GOP Health Bill
Senate Democrats plan to speak on the floor late into the night Monday, amid speculation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is narrowing in on a plan for a potential GOP health bill. Patty Murray of Washington, the no. 3 Senate Democrat, is organizing the protest, said an aide. Senate Republicans have been working for weeks in closed-door meetings on revisions to a House-passed bill (HR 1628). McConnell has for weeks faced the decision of whether to tilt toward moderates or conservatives in his effort to write a bill that at least 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans will support. (Young, 6/18)

The Hill: Blumenthal Plans ‘Emergency Health Care Hearing’ For Monday 
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he will hold his own “emergency field hearing” on health care Monday.  The Connecticut lawmaker’s hearing is in response to what he says is a secret strategy Senate Republicans are using to push their version of the American Health Care Act. (Manchester, 6/17)

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