What many thought would be a staid, thoughtful process among Senate Republicans to pass meaningful healthcare legislation has turned into a re-run of the House — a mad scramble to find the votes to just get it done, according to multiple reports.
With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's informal deadline of July 4 looming, Republicans continue to tweak at a bill — behind closed doors — that can afford only two "nays" from GOP senators, The Hill reported.
So the pressure cooker heats up with warnings being lobbed from every direction:
- House conservatives are lobbying — warning — Senate Republicans not to stray too far from the principles passed in the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
- While McConnell hunts for ways to call a vote next week, Sen. Marco Rubio has warned that Republicans need to slow down.
- Other Republicans are warning they're not committing to a yay or a nay until they have days to pour over the bill, thus far being worked on in private.
- Senate Democrats are pulling every lever — process, PR — they can to stonewall the process.
McConnell just wants this bill put to bed, in part so Republicans can move on to other legislation; healthcare already has proved to be too much of a time-suck on the Senate, The Hill reported.
Much of McConnell's focus has been on winning over moderate Republicans, but he can only afford to lose two out of three conservative senators — Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee.
Further, the conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC) is warning it will quash any legislation that does not adhere to fundamental pillars of the AHCA they passed, including the phase-out of Medicaid expansion and the eradication of Obamacare's taxes, The Hill reported.
All of this is happening at break-neck speed while most Senate Republicans still don't know what they're supposed to be agreeing to next week.
"There isn't a bill yet — nobody has seen any language," Sen. Chuck Grassley told The Wall Street Journal.
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