CNN’s Borger Falsely Claims AHCA Was Voted on ‘Without a Legislative Text for People to Read’

CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger engaged in some sketchy false news Thursday afternoon moments after the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), claiming that it was “stunning” to have passed “without a legislative text for people to read.”

In context, this comment was prefaced by her remarking that “this is halftime” and “not a full-on victory” for President Trump and the GOP and quipped that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) “is going to be looking to see at each person who was here standing next to the President on this” ahead of the 2018 elections. 

Seemingly exasperated, she implored her colleagues to “just take a step back for a moment and think about, guys, what happened here today, this is one-sixth of the American economy and this bill was approved with no hearings, with no Congressional Budget Office score about how many people would be affected and what it would cost, and without a legislative text for people to read.”

“When you think about that, that’s kind of stunning and there’s going to have to be a lot more detail fleshed out by the time this goes to the Senate about what the effects of Medicaid would be in the states, if states — block grants, what effect that would be,” she continued before going onto list other questions that would need to be answered going forward.

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Now, to Borger’s claim that there was no actual bill for the American people to read. While no piece of legislation is easy to find in the labyrinth of congressional websites, a number of AHCA supporters have tweeted out links to the bill. 

Also, someone possessing a competent command of Google and key words like “read the bill,” “AHCA bill,” or “House Bill 1628” could also eventually find their way there.

Simply going to http://www.congress.gov would lead to a homepage that’d spotlight in a section labeled “Current Legislative Activities.” Below that, tabs marked “House of Representatives” or House Floor Activities  would lead to the AHCA

In fact, if one went to the page on Thursday, three bills were listed and clicking on H.R. 1628 would lead to the American Health Care Act of 2017.

UnderHouse Floor Activities,” the vote occurred at 2:11 p.m. and the only bill listed at that time as H.R. 1628 (aka the AHCA). Eight minutes later, Roll no. 256 represented the vote tally.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript from May 4's afternoon edition of CNN Newsroom:

CNN Newsroom
May 4, 2017
3:14 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: You know, Gloria, I'm going to be really anxious to see the tone the president sets in his remarks in the next few minutes. 

GLORIA BORGER: Right, because this is not — this is halftime. This is, you know, not a full-on victory for him, although, as Jeff pointed out it's his first, you know, legislative win. 

WOLF BLITZER: Major legislative win. 

BORGER: And so the question is also the people around him. Nancy Pelosi said that this win is going to be tattooed on their foreheads. Well, now there's going to be a picture of everybody and I guarantee you that the congressional campaign committee is going to be looking to see at each person who was here standing next to the President on this and if we just take a step back for a moment and think about, guys, what happened here today, this is one-sixth of the American economy and this bill was approved with no hearings, with no Congressional Budget Office score about how many people would be affected and what it would cost, and without a legislative text for people to read. When you think about that, that’s kind of stunning and there’s going to have to be a lot more detail fleshed out by the time this goes to the Senate about what the effects of Medicaid would be in the states, if states — block grants, what effect that would be. What would happen to small businesses as you get rid of the employer mandate, for example, for businesses who have less than 50 people? How will that affect people who are currently forced — their insurers now — their companies now have to pay for their insurance? How would it affect people with preexisting conditions who have a lapse in their policies? There’s one estimate I looked at today that said about five million people with preexisting conditions would be affected. So, we're going to need to look at all of this, because we haven't really done it yet. 

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