Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) acknowledged that Democrats have the numbers in the Senate to block any attempt to repeal healthcare reform.
"They've got the numbers," the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If they all vote not to repeal, there won't be repeal."
However, he expects near-unanimous if not completely unanimous support for repeal from the 47 Republicans in the Senate.
"My sense is that Republicans will almost all, if not all, vote to repeal the healthcare law," he said.
Appearing alongside Alexander, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he thought a complete healthcare repeal did not have a chance of passage in the Senate.
However, he did expect a change to be made in the so-called 1099 provision of hte law, which imposes an additional tax filing requirement on small businesses for transactions of more than $600.
"I think there will be a change in the 1099 provision, he said.
Repealing healthcare reform was a major campaign promise by Republicans, and was slated to be one of the first steps taken by the new GOP-controlled House. A vote was originally scheduled for Jan. 12, but GOP leaders postponed its consideration following the shooting Saturday of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
While legislative business is on hold following the shooting, Alexander expects lawmakers to get back to its regular work shortly.
"We need to stop, pause and reflect," he said. "Then I think we're back to business."