Senate Democrats Wage Eleventh-Hour Twitter War on GOP Health Care Bill

Vote Tuesday decides whether chamber moves ahead with Obamacare repeal

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was one of a slew of Democrats to take part in a late Twitter flurry against the GOP health care overhaul ahead of a momentous vote to proceed Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., was one of a slew of Democrats to take part in a late Twitter flurry against the GOP health care overhaul ahead of a momentous vote to proceed Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:30am

Senate Democrats in the last 24 hours have launched a furious volley of attacks against their colleagues across the aisle ahead of the vote Tuesday on whether to proceed with the GOP health care bill that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The Democrats hope Twitter is their Agincourt and tweets their arrows.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has tweeted 10 times in the last 17 hours, all about the pending health care vote.

“Make no mistake, a ‘yes’ vote on health care is an endorsement of the most indefensible process on a major bill I’ve seen in 24 years,” the California Democrat tweeted late Monday.

Her California colleague, freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, was more blunt, citing the Congressional Budget Office report last week that concluded 32 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026 if Obamacare were repealed without a follow-up replacement plan.

Senate Democrats believe Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others in the Republican Senate brass have shrouded the process to move ahead with the bill in secrecy.

Missouri’s Claire McCaskill said it was “beyond weird” to vote on a proposal when McConnell and others in the GOP leadership “won’t even tell us what proposal we are voting on!”

And Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said that five hours out, Democrats still had no idea what bill they were voting to proceed on.

Some Democrats stayed at the Capitol late Monday night and arrived early this morning to deliver speeches on the floor deriding the process, tweeting out the Facebook Live streams of their remarks.

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin tweeted out the Facebook Live stream for her speech last night against the “partisan health care repeal effort,” then blasting out a 17-tweet thread laying out the risks to some of her constituents.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy lobbed his characteristic snark at a White House tweet that quoted President Donald Trump saying Obamacare has “wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent hardworking Americans” over the last seven years.

Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, pleaded last night for Americans to flood their lawmakers’ voicemails with complaints about the GOP health plan.

Harris echoed that sentiment Tuesday morning:

Others tailored the messages to their home constituents.

Sen. Bob Menendez told his Twitter followers about the ramifications of deep cuts to Medicaid in his state that could result from the eventual passage of the Senate bill.

Republicans, on the other hand, have been mostly mum.

Sen. Rand Paul plugged his Fox News interview Tuesday morning, the only reference to the vote on a Senate Republican’s Twitter so far Tuesday.

McConnell reaffirmed his determination to repeal Obamacare at all costs in a tweet Monday.

On his personal Twitter page Tuesday, President Donald Trump said would be “a very interesting day” for health care and that “[the] Dems are obstructionists but the Republicans can have a great victory for the people!”

Republican senators will meet at 12:45 p.m. for their weekly lunch, where McConnell and others will give their final pitches to their colleagues on the fence, a list that includes Sens. Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Dean Heller, among others.

The vote to proceed will be cast around 2:15 p.m.