Tags: mitch mcconnell | senate | vote | debate | obamacare | repeal

McConnell: Senate to Vote Next Week to Debate Obamacare Repeal

Image: McConnell: Senate to Vote Next Week to Debate Obamacare Repeal
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By    |   Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 03:22 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump for his support on healthcare legislation and vowed that a vote to debate an outright repeal of Obamacare on the floor will be taken next week.

"It's pretty obvious we've had difficulty in getting 50 votes to proceed," the Kentucky Republican told reporters outside the White House after a luncheon with Trump and other party senators.

"But what I want to disabuse any of you of the notion that we will not have that vote next week," he said. "We're going to vote on the motion to proceed to the bill next week."

McConnell's latest proposal for the outright repeal — with a replacement healthcare plan developed over two years — was rejected not long after he announced it on Monday by three moderate Republicans.

Sens. Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all said they would not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a replacement at the same time.

The announcements effectively killed McConnell's plan, as the Republicans — with a 52-48 majority — could afford to lose only two votes on any healthcare plan.

"We've had a lot of conversations," McConnell said of Trump's efforts. "He's talked to a lot of members."

Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will be "on Capitol Hill tonight working with some of our members who have had some difficulty in getting to 'yes,'" the majority leader said.

He explained that next week's vote would bring the repeal motion to the Senate floor for full debate, not actually end Obamacare.

"Let me describe what 'yes' is," McConnell said. "It's the motion to proceed.

"We cannot keep the commitment we made to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare unless we get on the bill.

"So, next week, we'll be voting to get on the bill."

He noted that the legislation can be amended — to even include an immediate replacement — and that no outright repeal would take effect for two years.

"We all agree it's better to both repeal and replace, but we could have a vote on either," he told reporters.

"If we end up voting on repeal only, it will be fully amendable on the Senate floor — and if it were to pass without any amendment at all, there's a two-year delay before it kicks in.

"The take-away from what I'm telling you is, no harm is done by getting on the bill," he said. "It's wide open for amendment, no matter what I offer as a substitute at first.

"It's fully amendable."

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump for his support on healthcare legislation and vowed that a vote to debate an outright repeal of Obamacare on the floor will be taken next week.
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2017-22-19
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 03:22 PM
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