GOP Sen. Charles GrassleyChuck GrassleyJeff Sessions will protect life Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes Pence meets with Kaine, Manchin amid Capitol Hill visit MORE (Iowa) admitted Wednesday that a full repeal of President Obama's healthcare law will die in the Senate.
Speaking to Iowa radio station KCIM, the current ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee conceded that Senate Republicans do not have the 60 votes necessary to force through a full repeal.
Republicans have long acknowledged Obama would veto a repeal bill, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell breaks with Trump on NATO McConnell: Senate could vote on 3 Trump nominees Friday Dems engage in friendly debate for DNC chair MORE (R-Ky.) said the day following the elections that his caucus would attempt to completely roll back the healthcare overhaul.
The Iowa senator, who won a sixth term last Tuesday, is among the first GOP lawmakers to admit that a repeal would not make it past the Senate.
Although the GOP swept the Democrats out of power in the House, they only picked up six Senate seats, meaning Democrats will return to the Capitol next year still in control of the upper chamber.
That means that even if the House passed a repeal bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare Congress has a mandate to repeal ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.), who survived a scare from Tea Party-backed challenger Sharron Angle (R) in his reelection bid, would have the power to not bring the legislation up for a vote.
Grassley's comments mirror the remarks of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, who said two days after the election that the Senate would likely halt a repeal.
At his postmortem press conference, Obama said he would not "re-litigate" the healthcare law, but he said he would be open to slight changes, like altering the tax filing provisions for small businesses.
Grassley expressed hope that a gradual repeal would be more successful.
"I think you're going to have bits and pieces of it brought up that maybe we can win a small victory here and there," he said.