Two Republican critics of the Senate's health care bill expressed strong doubts Sunday that the legislation can make it through the chamber before the July 4 recess, as the GOP leadership wants. Unless those holdouts can be swayed, their numbers are more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and deliver a bitter defeat for the president.
The Senate's No. 2 Republican said the Senate is on pace to hold a key procedural vote Wednesday. "It's going to be very hard to get me to 'yes, '" said Heller, viewed as the Senate Republican most at risk in the 2018 midterm election.
But Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune pointed to the work he has continued to do on a bipartisan basis at the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which he chairs, even during the process of the crafting of the GOP health care plan.
Sasse addressed health care at a private retreat for top donors to the libertarian Koch brothers' political network, which favors full repeal.
"Make no mistake, this bill in the Senate, like the one in the House, would be a U-turn on the progress we've made when it comes to affordable care in the United States of America", said Sen. "I frankly would like more days to consider this".
The 142-page measure, released Thursday, would end Obamacare's penalties for people who don't buy insurance, cut back an expansion of Medicaid, but would keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions, compared to the House-passed bill. Asked yesterday about the GOP plan's Medicaid cuts, Kellyanne Conway said with a straight face, "These are not cuts to Medicaid".
"The Republicans and Democrats don't get together", Trump complained on the Fox and Friends program, in a previously taped interview broadcast early on Sunday. He said the changes he is seeking to the bill would go in the opposite direction of those sought by other current "no" votes - conservative hard-liners including Texas Sen.
"The working poor, disabled and elderly appear to shoulder the burden in this latest version of Congress' health care rewrite", Edwards said.
GOP Senate leaders can only lose two members of their 52-senator caucus in support of the bill in order for it to pass. Heller said he spoke with Senate Republican leaders and Vice President Mike Pence on Friday morning. He said Democrats "are doing everything we can to fight this bill because it's so devastating for the middle class".
There are headlines out there claiming Paul is open to voting for a partial repeal of Obamacare.
"I think they have, at best, a 50-50 chance of passing this bill", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on ABC.
And the federal government says yeah, states, we're going to pay this much and no more. "We don't have too much of a choice, because the alternative is the dead carcass of Obamacare".
Mr. Paul, one of four Senate conservatives who oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act in its current form, said would change his mind "if they change their approach".
Congressional sources told The Associated Press last week that Trump trashed the House bill during a White House lunch with 15 Republican senators.
"They did just fine", he said.