20:44 GMT01 April 2020
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    Democratic lawmakers took hold of the US Senate floor in a bid to stall its work in protest against Republicans' behind-the-scenes efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In a coordinated series of procedural moves and lengthy speeches late on Monday, Democratic Senators took turns railing against Republican efforts to draft an alternative healthcare bill in secret.

    "This radical departure from normal procedure on a bill of such consequence leaves the Senate minority little choice but to depart from normal procedure as well," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. "If the Republicans won't debate their healthcare in the open for the American people to see, they shouldn't expect business as usual."

    Several senators took turns standing and requesting that the Republican healthcare bill be referred to committee for hearings and calling for the draft text to be published.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to each of their motions.

    Schumer said the senators would continue to make moves aimed at stalling Senate work, such as objecting to requests on noncontroversial items that are usually passed quickly.

    "These are merely the first steps we're prepared to take in order to shine a light on the shameful Trumpcare bill and reveal to the public the GOP's backroom deal-making," Schumer said.

    Senators were sharing posts of their effort on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #ShowUsTheBill.

    The speeches and symbolic motions were expected to last until midnight or later.

    The Affordable Care Act was a signature policy achievement of former President Barack Obama.

    President Donald Trump has succeeding in rolling back several of Obama's initiatives, including his opening to Cuba and his executive orders on environmental protections.


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