Hatch: Passing Graham-Cassidy 'nearly impossible'

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenate panel to hold hearing next week for Trump IRS nominee On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs MORE (R-Utah) on Monday expressed doubt about the passage of the GOP’s latest plan to replace ObamaCare, saying the chances of pushing the Graham-Cassidy bill through the upper chamber are slim.

“It's nearly impossible. I’m not saying anything is impossible because we could always maybe work it out in the end but so far I haven’t seen” anything indicating this time will be different, Hatch told reporters, according to Bloomberg News.

Hatch's remarks came the same day as a planned hearing on the new health-care measure put forth by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate panel advances three spending bills Trump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — House passes opioid bill | Planned Parenthood sues over teen pregnancy program | Azar to face Senate next week On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests MORE (R-La.). The bill aims to repeal much of ObamaCare and provide block grants to states to use for health-care funding.

In his opening statement at the hearing, Hatch addressed the challenges posed by the legislation, as well as the differing viewpoints surrounding the issue of health care. "But, while I wish that expressions of goodwill could, on their own, fix our nation's problems, that is just not the case. We have to do the work. And, on these issues, the work is particularly hard," he said.

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The bill's success hinges on a select few since the party can only afford to lose two Republican votes in order to get the necessary 50 votes necessary to pass it. Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Trump mocks McCain at Nevada rally Don’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production MORE (R-Ky.) have already stated their opposition to the plan, while Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Skyrocketing insulin prices provoke new outrage MORE (R-Maine) appears to largely be against the measure.

McCain also opposed a previous slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill in July, famously giving a thumbs-down vote that proved decisive in killing its chances. 

Republicans are making one last push to pass health-care legislation by Sept. 30, after which a special rule that allows them to move a bill without Democrats will expire. After that, Democrats will be able to filibuster their health-care pushes.

Protesters have packed the hallways outside the Senate hearing and repeatedly interrupted the proceeding with some yelling chants like, "Kill the bill, don't kill me."

President Trump on Monday also appeared pessimistic about the passage of the bill, while blaming McCain for shooting down their chances at enacting a new health-care system.