Rand Paul says can't support last-ditch GOP ObamaCare repeal

Rand Paul says can't support last-ditch GOP ObamaCare repeal
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul takes victory lap after Brennan's security clearance revoked Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance Republicans have spent .5 million at Trump properties since he took office: report MORE (R-Ky.) said he can’t support the newest ObamaCare repeal plan a quartet of senators is pushing, highlighting the hurdles the legislation would need to overcome to pass the upper chamber.

Paul called the legislation “Obamacare Lite.”

GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyEnergy Department clears ‘small-scale’ natural gas exports for fast approval GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave MORE (La.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOn The Money: Turkey slaps more tariffs on US goods | Businesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill | Senate turns to toughest 'minibus' yet Businesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThe farm bill gives Congress a chance to act on the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act GOP’s midterm strategy takes shape Battle of the billionaires drives Nevada contest MORE (Nev.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan When it comes to drone tech, wildfire officials need the rights tools for the job GOP chairman readies Steele dossier subpoenas MORE (Wis.) released the legislation on Wednesday.

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The bill would move money for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, tax credits and cost-sharing reduction subsidies to block grants to the states. It would also repeal the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

On Friday morning, Cassidy told reporters that he was “pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side. We’re probably at 48-49 [votes] and talking to two or three more.”

The bill would have to surmount some tough hurdles in order to pass the Senate. The fast-track vehicle the GOP was using to repeal ObamaCare, since it avoided a Democratic filibuster, expires at the end of the month.

Additionally, the legislation could only afford to lose two GOP votes — assuming Vice President Pence swoops in to break a tie — and Paul is already a hard no.

On Monday, Paul told reporters the proposal would “probably” be worse than doing nothing about the health law. Over the summer, Paul was critical of GOP leadership’s repeal-and-replace bill, advocating for a clean repeal of ObamaCare instead.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator reviving effort to rein in Trump on tariffs The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP’s midterm strategy takes shape MORE (R-Ky.) told Cassidy and Graham Tuesday they would need to find the votes on their own.

“I think Mitch would vote for it, but he said, ‘Go get 50 votes,’” Graham said. Fifty votes would allow Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynTop Senate Intel Dem: Trump compiling a 'Nixonian enemies list' It’s possible to protect national security without jeopardizing the economy Archivist rejects Democrats' demand for Kavanaugh documents MORE (R-Texas) is measuring support for the legislation.

"What I told Sen. Graham is we would work to try to get a sense of where people were ... so my hope is we'll get that preliminary information back in the next few days," Cornyn said Thursday, when asked about the vote counting.