Senate GOP delays ObamaCare repeal vote past recess

The Hill

Senate Republicans are delaying their effort to vote on legislation repealing ObamaCare until after the July 4 recess after a number of members said they opposed the current bill.

“I think we need a little more time,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters before getting into an elevator.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told members of the decision on Tuesday at a closed-door meeting.  

“He simply said I think we need more time to work on it, we don’t have the votes right now,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) told reporters after the meeting.

A Congressional Budget Office score on the measure found the Senate bill would leave 22 million more people without insurance compared to present law over the next decade.

The analysis also found that the Senate bill would cause premiums to rise over the next two years, undercutting a GOP argument for the bill.

After the analysis was reached, a number of GOP senators said they would not back a procedural motion on the bill that had been set for Wednesday. Rounds indicated the CBO score played a critical role in the decision to punt on a vote, saying changes would be made and the GOP would get a new CBO score.

The House pulled back on a vote on its own ObamaCare repeal bill in March amid widespread defections. After more deal-making, a new bill was brought to the floor and passed.

Senate GOP leaders will be hoping for a similar situation next month, though they also risk opposition to the bill rising over the July 4 recess.

“The hope is that we can at least come to an agreement on what we can get enough votes on and turn to it as soon as we come back. But we’ll see,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla)

“This is a very important issue dealing with people’s healthcare and I’d rather do it right than do it fast.”

The news of the delay was first reported by CNN.

It appeared GOP leaders faced an almost certain defeat on a procedural vote for the measure. Several GOP senators had said they would oppose their party on the vote, including Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Susan Collins(Maine), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ron Johnson (Wis.).

GOP senators are scheduled to go to the White House for a meeting with President Trump at 4 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss the impasse.

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