CNN’s Rick Santorum claims secret GOP Senate health care bill is “how things have ... always been done”
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CNN contributor Rick Santorum falsely claimed that the secrecy surrounding the Senate Republicans' health care bill was simply “how things have been done and always been done” in Congress. Contrary to Santorum’s suggestion, the secrecy surrounding the bill has been called by reporters and outlets “a major departure from the standard Senate process” and a process where reporters have “never seen lying and obstruction like this.” The New York Times also reported that the “remarkable” secrecy surrounding the bill has even raised alarm with some senators in both parties. By contrast, congressional Democrats held years of hearings for and passed the Affordable Care Act after much public debate, which fellow CNN contributor Bakari Sellers noted. From the June 18 edition of CNN’s State of the Union:
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JAKE TAPPER (HOST): Senator, I want to play for you some sound you that might remember. It’s Senator Mitch McConnell talking about the the Democratic process back in 2009.
TAPPER: It's almost as if these people don't know that we can go to the videotape library and pluck these thing out.
RICK SANTORUM: Well I'm sure you can find Democrats defending it.
TAPPER: Sure, of course
SANTORUM: Look, what goes around comes around. This is unfortunately how things have been done and always been done. I mean, you remember back in budget deals between Reagan and the Democrats, back when [then-Rep.] John Dingell [(D-MI)] was running. They’d go off to Andrews Air Force Base and write -- that's the way things are done. They’re not done in a public forum initially. Everything’s going to have to be given the light of day.
BAKARI SELLERS: It's an argument based upon hypocrisy. And even when you compare it to 2009, you had the Democratic Party, the House Democrats, at that time under Nancy Pelosi's leadership, they had over 20 hearings. This took a year before it passed. So this is not comparable to what happened in 2009, but I just love to see Mitch McConnell and everyone else just cloak themselves in such hypocrisy and the travesty and why we need more Republicans with courage like my colleague here to my right [Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)], and why we need more Republicans to stand up, is because the Republican Party right now is trying take away health insurance from 23 million people and they are literally, literally, drafting up a piece of legislation that affects one-sixth of our economy under the cover of darkness, which is 13 all-white males in the back room, and this is the problem that Americans have and why they distrust the process and why they distrust Democrats and Republicans alike, because we moved too fast in 2009, but the Republicans didn't learn a lesson, and they are now the ones who have the ball and it's a travesty of justice.