- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2017

Sen. Ron Wyden said Monday that the Republican health care bill is turning into a “pork parade” in an effort to woo holdout votes.

“This whole idea of trying to pass a health care bill, which is about holding down premiums and protecting our people and turning it into some king of pork parade where you just give out huge, big slabs of pork in order to try and win a vote, that’s not how you make health policy,” Mr. Wyden, Oregon Democrat, said on CNN.

Mr. Wyden advocated for a bipartisan approach to the issue and accused Republicans of trying to sweeten their deal by offering hold-out senators more money for their states.

“The Senate is legislating in the dark, and right now the Senate Republican leadership has embarked on a frenzy of special dealmaking and elbow-twisting in the middle of the night,” he said. “They’re trying to defend the indefensible.”

Mr. Wyden said the bill he’s been working on with Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, would be a better first step toward a bipartisan process in the health care debate.

Their proposal extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program for another five years and provides additional funding for low-income children while giving states more flexibility in running the program. The current funding for CHIP expires on Sept. 30.

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