Washington (CNN) At a closed-door meeting with senators last week President Donald Trump reportedly called the House’s health care plan “mean,” and now Democrats are taking the President to task for his words, calling the Senate GOP bill “meaner.”
“If that bill was mean, this one is downright diabolical” Sen. Jeff Merkley, of Oregon said in a statement. “It is diabolical because it absolutely eviscerates Medicaid, ripping away health care from millions of Americans with cuts that are even deeper than the House version.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer brought in a poster board with the word “mean” written on it. He added to the word, writing in black marker the letters “er” at the end at a news conference.
Schumer called the bill “nasty” and likened it to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“The Senate bill needed heart, the way this bill cuts health care is heartless,” Schumer said. “The Senate bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing — only this wolf’s teeth are even sharper than the House bill.”
Schumer went on to draw comparisons between what Obamacare offered and what the new bill by the Senate offered.
“The bill takes dollars out of health care for millions of Americans and puts it right back in the pocket of the wealthy,” he said. “He cuts health care for those who need it most just to give a tax break for those who need it least.”
Democrats were quick to point out that they were not involved in any capacity with the drafting of the new health care bill, which Republicans drafted under reconciliation behind closed doors and out-of-committee hearings.
“Not once have I or my colleagues been asked by a single Republican to work on this bill or discuss bipartisan fixes,” said Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. “The statement this morning that Democrats refused to work on the other side is just a fiction.”
Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray called the draft “heartless.”
“After seven years of refusing to work with us Democrats, what Republican leaders have put forth is truly shameful. It speaks volumes, with just days,” she said.
Referencing negative comments made by some Republican senators about the suggested bill, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said he believes it’s largely for show.
“There might be some political theater that will play out between now and next week. So I wouldn’t give my Republican colleagues too much credit if they raise concerns today. that may be pre-scripted,” he said on MSNBC Wednesday. “McConnell has a thin needle to thread.”
Correction: President Trump was referring to the House health care bill when he described it as “mean.”