By Jack Brewster
July 25, 2017

Senate Democrats could do little to stop the GOP from pushing ahead to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but they could voice their frustration.

As the Senate voted Tuesday to begin debate, members of the Democratic minority were harshly criticizing the legislative maneuvers behind it.

“I’ve never seen or read in the entire history of the United States anything as rushed as this that has such an impact on Americans,” said Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey.

The vote is the culmination of a seven-year long push by the GOP to repeal President Obama’s signature achievement. Democratic lawmakers said that it’s currently unclear what the vote would lead to.

“I don’t know,” added Booker on what he thinks about Senate Republicans’ latest effort. “I don’t know if they have a bill. I don’t know if they have the votes. But the nation is in peril.”

The difficult path to passing a replacement bill may give Democrats hope. But as long as the dismantling of Obamacare remains a possibility, they will be critical.

“I think they’re making a terrible mistake,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “It’s going to rip health care from tens of millions of Americans and whichever version they vote on [will trash] the American health care system.”

Write to Jack Brewster at jack.brewster@time.com.

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