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Lawmakers Are Taking Hilariously Extreme Measures to Hunt Down the GOP’s ‘Secret’ Obamacare Bill

Have you seen the House GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill? Neither have most lawmakers! And they’re resorting to some seriously creative tactics to find it.

The House GOP has been keeping its draft Obamacare replacement plan under lock and key. Literally. Like, hidden away in a basement.

That’s not sitting well with certain lawmakers who believe the public (and Congress) should get to see what’s replacing a health law that covers more than 20 million people might look like—including fellow Republicans and Obamacare opponents like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who embarked on a mission to locate the elusive legislation on Thursday.

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Just how far was Paul willing to go in his quixotic legislative transparency quest? Pretty far.

Paul didn’t actually get access to the Obamacare replacement plan or make use of his handy copy machine sidekick. But, hey, it wasn’t for lack of effort.

Other Congress members like Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer are also employing some, uh, interesting strategies in their search for the legislation.

Okay, so these are obviously stunts meant to draw attention and media coverage (mission accomplished!). But they also underscore deep Congressional angst about how to proceed on Obamacare replacement.

The issue has already splintered the GOP, whose conservative and moderate wings disagree on key issues such as providing Americans tax credits to encourage them to buy insurance. President Donald Trump endorsed the main pillars of a previously leaked Obamacare replacement blueprint during his address to Congress Tuesday night, but it’s too early to tell if he successfully rallied the troops.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is drafting the current legislation, are pushing back on the “secret Obamacare plan” narrative.

“Reports that the Energy and Commerce Committee is doing anything other the regular process of keeping its members up to speed on latest developments in its jurisdictions are false. We are continuing to work on drafting and refining legislative language to provide relief from a failing law,” wrote Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the committee.

“Part of that process is giving committee members and staff the opportunity to work closely together to draft a bill that reflects the concerns of our constituents and reflects our mandate from voters to repeal and replace Obamacare. Simply put, Energy and Commerce majority members and staff are continuing to discuss and refine draft legislative language on issues under our committee’s jurisdiction.”

Maybe Congress could use a talented locksmith right about now.