Republican Rep. Chris Collins admitted Thursday that he did not read the full health care bill before voting for it.
“I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not. But I can also assure you my staff did. We have to rely on our staff,” Collins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
The New York lawmaker said he had several meetings to discuss how this plan would affect Americans and he’s “very comfortable that we have a solution to the disaster called ‘Obamacare.’”
Blitzer pressed further, “This legislation affects one-fifth of the US economy, and millions of millions of Americans. Don’t you think it was important to sit down and read the language of this bill?”
But Collins stuck to his admission, and noted he probably wasn’t the only congressman who didn’t read the bill in its entirety.
Collins said, “I have to rely on my staff. And I can probably tell you that I read every word, and I wouldn’t be telling you the truth, nor would any other member. We rely on our staff and we rely on our committees. I’m comfortable that I understand this bill in its entirety, Wolf, without poring through every word. I’m being quite honest, that’s the way it is.”
Earlier in the day, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “every member who voted on this bill had more than enough time to read every aspect of it.” He said that the full bill was less than 200 pages, and the changes made Thursday were about three pages long.
Last-minute amendments were added to the previous bill, and the House voted to make sweeping changes to America’s health care system.