GOP leaders push back on Trump, McConnell on health care vote
In an interview with Politico, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., said they will not support a motion to proceed to a health care bill after Democrats blocked it Tuesday in a last-minute attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate bill passed by a 56-46 vote, with Republicans holding 52 seats in the Senate.
The bill would cut federal spending by more than $800 billion over 10 years.
The House version, which is more moderate than the Senate, would raise the threshold for qualifying for Medicaid and allow states to opt out of some protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that Democrats were “killing” the Senate health care plan, and House Speaker Paul Ryan said the Senate bill was a “very, very bad bill” that could not pass the House.
“I have not seen a single Republican vote against it, and I know they’re not going to be able to,” Ryan told reporters.
McConnell, in an interview Tuesday with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said the vote on the Senate version of the bill was “pretty clear,” and he said he expected it to pass.
“There’s a good chance that we’re going to pass a bill that’s substantially more favorable to the American people than the House,” McConnell said.
“If it doesn’t pass, I’m not going back to the House, because I know that if we get the votes to pass it, I think we can get it passed.”
Trump has been pushing Republicans to repeal Obamacare for more than two years, and the House and Senate versions of the House bill do not contain significant changes to the health care law.
McConnell told CBS News that the Senate is trying to get it done and he expects it to be done.
He also said he’s open to the possibility that Republicans could try to move a version of a health bill that contains some provisions that would not go to the Senate’s version of what passed the House but that he believes are not good for the American taxpayer.
“That’s a conversation that we can have,” McConnell told “Face The Nation.”