Political News

Sen. Johnson: Without time to review health care bill, 'I won't be voting yes'

Posted June 21, 2017 3:17 p.m. EDT

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is warning that he will vote against the GOP health care plan if there is not sufficient time to review it publicly and allow his constituents to give feedback.

Speaking to CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Wednesday morning, Johnson expressed his concerns about the way Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could approach a vote on the bill that remains secret after weeks of deliberation behind closed doors.

"What I've told leadership very clearly is I'm going to need time, and my constituents are going to need time, to evaluate exactly how this is going to affect them," Johnson said. "I personally think that holding a vote on this next week would definitely be rushed. I can't imagine, quite honestly, that I'd have the information to evaluate and justify a yes vote within just a week."

Johnson explained that he wants "to fully vet it in the public. I want to make sure that my constituents have enough time to provide input."

He is one of 13 Republican senators in the working group to draft the Senate's version of the Obamacare repeal effort that the Republican-led House passed last month.

The group has been criticized by Democrats and a handful of Republicans for working privately to reshape America's health care system. Many have also criticized the fact that there are no women or members of color in the working group.

Pressed by Cuomo on the closed legislative process, Johnson said, "I'm not going to criticize the process unless we start taking a vote way too early."

Cuomo then mentioned that an early vote is exactly what McConnell is planning on holding.

"I've told him, unless I have the input from my constituents, unless I have got the information I need to justify a yes vote, I won't be voting yes," Johnson said.

Senate Republican leadership plans to release the text of the bill on Thursday. The Congressional Budget Office is then expected to release its non-partisan analysis of the bill early next week. Once that occurs, leadership may choose to hold a Senate-wide vote before the July 4 recess.