Senate

Democratic senator to party: ‘A little message discipline wouldn’t kill us’

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Friday expressed frustration with his party over its messaging regarding the current Supreme Court fight embroiling the Senate, saying Democrats should focus their arguments on Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Schatz highlighted remarks arguing that the GOP is rushing to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court so the party can install a justice who would overturn the Obama-era health care law, “kicking millions off their health care,” saying Democrats “should say this, using these words.” 

“A little message discipline wouldn’t kill us,” he tweeted. 

The remarks come as a partisan firestorm sweeps the Senate over the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87.

Republicans have rushed to fill the vacancy, whipping votes before President Trump announces his nominee for the spot. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to lock up the votes he needs to secure the nomination, losing only the support of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Democrats have railed against Republicans over the efforts to fill the spot after the party blocked then-President Obama from filling a vacancy in 2016, the last presidential election year.

Virtually every Democrat has said the confirmation process should be delayed until after the election, though many have noted the risk a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court could pose to the ACA.

“Why the president is in such a rush is because he’s in a hurry to overturn the Affordable Care Act. And he wants to do that,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday night in reference to an upcoming case against the law. “The oral arguments start Nov. 10, a week after the election, and he wants to get a justice in there in time for that so they can hear the arguments and vote on it.”

Tags Affordable Care Act Brian Schatz Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Donald Trump Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Susan Collins

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