Republicans delay to gather support for healthcare bill
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 28, 2017,
Jun 28, 2017, 23:31
It was a highly unusual assault on a politician from within his own party - one that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called "beyond stupid" in a complaint to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Saturday.
"Mitch McConnell poked his head out and tossed a bill out there that was widely unpopular in his caucus, and then he pulled the door shut, so they're back in secret negotiations this week and next week", the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. But the message he delivered to them before reporters were ushered out of the room was not entirely hopeful.
Trump says it's "always tough" to pass a health care bill because the needs of every state are different, but he added, "I think health care is going to be great".
The bill has many critics and few outspoken fans on Capitol Hill.
So far, at least six Republican senators have said they will vote against the bill - more than enough to stop it from passing.
After the bill was made publicly available Thursday, Gardner told reporters, "We need to learn more and get the information and numbers behind it.That's not a no".
But adjustments to placate conservatives, who want the legislation to be more stringent, only push away moderates who think its current limits - on Medicaid for example - are too strong. He said the president was "open-minded towards trying to make the bill a better bill" and repeated his criticism of retaining numerous subsidies in Obamacare.
The bipartisan National Governors Association sent a letter to the Senate saying it opposes the proposal to withdraw more than $770 billion in federal Medicaid funding over 10 years by ending enhanced support for the expansion population and constraining the growth in the federal contribution.
Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, admitted as much following McConnell's announcement postponing a vote on the health care bill until after the July 4th recess that starts Friday and stretches to July 11. The Majority Leader will be tested now, and we'll see how Sen.
The bill drew criticism from Republican moderates anxious about millions of people losing their medical insurance and sharp cuts to the Medicaid government healthcare program for the poor, and from conservatives unhappy it did not do enough to erase the 2010 Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.
"It's hard to see how tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental concerns about the bill", Senator Susan Collins, a Republican moderate, told reporters.
Despite controlling all three branches of government, Republicans have yet to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act-one of Donald Trump's biggest campaign promises and the GOP's cri de coeur for almost a decade.
"It's a very complicated subject", McConnell said.
Senator Lindsey Graham was asked this week about Trump embracing the House plan with a White House Rose Garden celebration, only to later call it "mean".
"We only have three basic tools at our disposal in which to manage this level of a cut", she said. The group took down the ads Tuesday night.
Republican leadership can only afford two "no" votes from their party in the Senate, assuming all Democrats vote against the health care legislation. Sen.
And it runs smack into the wall of resistance from a clutch of Senate conservatives - Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.