Hatch: Passing Graham-Cassidy 'nearly impossible'

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchProminent conservative passes on Utah Senate bid Republicans offer this impossible choice: Tax cuts or senior care Senate GOP running out of options to stop Moore 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 GrahamAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock Graham on Moore: 'We are about to give away a seat' key to Trump's agenda Tax plans show Congress putting donors over voters MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTrump met Senate Republicans on ObamaCare fix Senate GOP tax bill will include repeal of ObamaCare mandate Alabama GOP chair warns party officials against write-in campaign 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 McCainTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Ad encourages GOP senator to vote 'no' on tax bill MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCongress must end American support for Saudi war in Yemen Black men get longer prison sentences than white men for same crimes: study Sarah Palin on sexual harassment: 'People know I'm probably packing' so they 'don't mess with me' MORE (R-Ky.) have already stated their opposition to the plan, while Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsStates fill family caregiver void left by Congress GOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal 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.