INSIDE WASHINGTON: Secrecy in lawmaking hardly new

Associated Press |

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and whisk it through the Senate is drawing fire from members of both parties. But it's not uncommon for either party to draft bills or resolve stubborn final hurdles behind closed doors.

That's even true for the process that produced President Barack Obama's health care law.

While Democrats were writing Obama's statute in 2009 and 2009, they reached out to Republicans, held scores of committee hearings and staged many days of debate. But they also resorted to private meetings to reach agreements that clinched its approval.

Democrats lack the votes to block this year's GOP effort. They're looking to score political points by targeting the closed-door process Republicans are using to write legislation replacing much of Obama's statute.

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