McConnell Defers Action On Health Care Vote As McCain Recovers From Surgery

Trump to GOP: You'd better pass something on ObamaCare

Two Republicans already plan to vote "no" on the latest bill, so Republicans can't afford to lose another vote. But there's no guarantee the extra time will accomplish anything except giving senators more heartburn. A vote may come as early next week, but McConnell has hinted that if the measure fails Republicans are prepared to work with Democrats in crafting a bipartisan program, which would need 60 votes to advance instead of the 50 the GOP is now seeking using budget reconciliation.

The bill's dramatic cuts to the Medicaid program are a significant concern for governors like Sandoval as well as moderate senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Before the vote was delayed, President Trump used his weekly address on Saturday to encourage the Senate to pass the health care bill.

McCain's absence raised doubts about whether Republican leadership would have enough votes to move past an important procedural hurdle, for which they will need 50 Republican senators to vote in support of taking up the bill.

During his questioning of former FBI Director James Comey in early June, McCain's line of thought seemed disjointed and left Comey "a little confused".

A number of other Republicans including Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Dean Heller of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of OH, have also expressed serious reservations about the bill in its current form.

Mr. Paul and Ms. Collins said they have been in talks with the White House about the health care bill.

But the net result is that it creates more time for second thoughts among Republicans. Susan Collins of ME, have already come out against the bill. If that vote is successful, it sets up a confirmation vote, likely before the end of the week. Paul, much more conservative, said that he wanted the bill to go much further in dismantling the ACA, also commonly referred to as Obamacare. Conservatives are pushing for more than $200 billion in required cuts to mandatory spending programs, but key committee chairs are saying it's hard to get that kind of savings.

The Senate floor schedule is unclear now that health care is on hold.

Democrats, of course, have no interest in changing the disastrous health care law.

During the same speech, the vice president went after Ohio Gov. John Kasich, R, a critic of the legislation, by suggesting his state's expansion of Medicaid left almost 60,000 residents with disabilities "stuck on waiting lists, leaving them without the care they need for months or even years".

After facing an outcry, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell increased that to $45 billion.

The groups wrote in a letter to McConnell and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that the amendment "would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people now enrolled in the individual market". Ted Cruz's amendment - a key provision added to the bill that won over Cruz and may help bring on board others.

The Senate Budget Committee did not offer an explanation for the delay but said it would provide more information and updates as appropriate.

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