From Jonathan Bernstein:
It’s been an ugly process. While congressional scholar Josh Huder reminds us that each of the last several majority leaders have trampled on traditional procedures, he also says that Mitch McConnell “is doing more harm to the institution than any modern majority leader.” As Sarah Binder put it, “Senate leaders also continue to negotiate the bill’s details in secret, just as they did this summer in crafting the health-care repeal bill. And as with this past summer’s effort, even senators who are trying to negotiate changes in the pending bill are being kept in the dark.”
It’s true that Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader, negotiated a post-committee version of the Affordable Care Act in his office behind closed doors. But the contrast is stark. That bill had full committee mark-ups before Reid combined them. The final product was available to everyone throughout a lengthy floor debate.
Democrats even paused the process at multiple points (in committee and on the Senate floor) for Congressional Budget Office scores, giving both supporters and opponents plenty of time to look closely at what they were voting on. This bill? They were still writing it on Friday, hours into the final debate.