Conservative group warns of primaries for those who don't back ObamaCare repeal

Conservative group warns of primaries for those who don't back ObamaCare repeal
© Greg Nash

A top conservative group is threatening primary challenges to senators who vote against a repeal of ObamaCare after Senate Republicans failed to coalesce around a replacement plan. 

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who now serves as the president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, drew the line in the sand on Tuesday, soon after reports surfaced that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) plans to hold a repeal vote even though it's already clear he doesn't have the votes to pass it. 

"Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare for years and now with President Trump in the White House, there is no excuse for them to break their promise," Cuccinelli said. 

"Working with the grassroots across the country, we will seek to identify, recruit, and fund conservative challengers against Republican senators who vote against repeal. If they won’t keep their word and if they can’t find the courage to repeal a liberal takeover of our health care system that has hurt so many American families, they should be replaced by someone who will.”
 
The threat raises the electoral stakes for Republican senators who oppose the repeal-only plan — so far, that group includes Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSessions torched by lawmakers for marijuana move Calif. Republican attacks Sessions over marijuana policy Trump's executive order on minerals will boost national defense MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals MORE (Maine) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP may increase IRS’s budget People with addiction issues should be able to control their own health data Trump signs bipartisan bill to combat synthetic opioids MORE (W.Va.).
 
None of them are up for reelection in 2018 — Collins and Capito are up again in 2020, while Murkowski doesn't have to worry about reelection until 2022.

But the warning ups the pressure on lawmakers such as Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Nevada Dems unveil 2018 campaign mascot: 'Mitch McTurtle' Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in MORE (R-Nev.), who faces the most difficult reelection path of any incumbent Republican senator in 2018.