Senate Republicans Delay Health Care Vote
In a devastating set back to President Donald Trump, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell announced a few minutes ago that he was delaying the vote on the Republican health care bill until after the July 4th recess.
This is a developing story.
Sen. McConnell (R-KY) told his caucus the delay is necessary to give him time to make changes to the bill and get a new score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The CBO said in its analysis of the current GOP bill that 22 million Americans will lose coverage should it become law.
“We’re going to continue discussion in our conference,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill after his meeting with his Senate Republican colleagues.
“We will not be on the bill this week. But we’re still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place,” he added.
Senators were scheduled to vote on the GOP-backed bill sometime this week after McConnell and his colleagues rushed to finish the bill and present it for a vote to avoid what will surely be a bruising July recess for members of the GOP Senate caucus.
The bill’s prospect of passing was in serious doubt following the CBO score and the announcement by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that she would be voting “No” on the bill.
She would have been the second GOP senator to vote “No” following Dean Heller of Nevada, who made his announcement on Friday.
Democratic senators were elated following the announcement.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said his caucus were prepared to fight the bill no matter when it came up for a vote.
“We’re going to fight this bill tooth and nail, and we have a darned good chance of defeating it,” Schumer told reporters, adding that “the Republicans cannot excise the rotten core at the center of their health care bill.”
Postponing the bill does not mean it is dead. McConnell said he plans to continue conversations with his conference to try to find ways to get the needed votes.
“We’re going to continue discussion in our conference,” McConnell said earlier today and a senior Republican capitol Hill staffer echoed the same sentiment moments later. “We know what everyone needs,” the staffer said. “Now we just need to make it work.”
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