Grassley: GOP has 'responsibility' to support latest ObamaCare repeal effort

Grassley: GOP has 'responsibility' to support latest ObamaCare repeal effort
© Keren Carrion

Republicans must follow through on their promise and pass the latest ObamaCare repeal legislation, regardless of its flaws, a top Republican said Wednesday.

According to The Des Moines Register, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters in his home state that Republicans have been campaigning on repealing and replacing ObamaCare for years and must seize any opportunity they can.


“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said of the legislation sponsored by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTax bill could fuel push for Medicare, Social Security cuts Collins to vote for GOP tax plan Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (R-La.).

“But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said he intends to hold a vote on the bill next week. It’s not clear if he has the votes needed for it to pass.

Grassley reportedly expressed doubt that it could pass.

“No, I think we’re one or two votes short, and I don’t see those other one or two votes coming,” he said, according to the Register. “I hope I’m wrong.”

Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Week ahead: Trump expected to shrink two national monuments GOP on verge of opening Arctic refuge to drilling MORE (Alaska), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (Ariz.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (Maine) are undecided on the legislation, but have all expressed concerns with either the process or the substance of the proposal.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) has said he will oppose it.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal much of ObamaCare, ending funding for Medicaid’s expansion and the health-care law’s subsidies that help people buy insurance. In their place, block grants would be given to states.

A statement from Grassley’s office said he’s not just interested in checking off a box to fulfill a campaign pledge, and that he believes repealing ObamaCare will help Iowans.

His office also noted that he was interested in a bipartisan proposal from Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Finance: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference House conservatives, Ryan inch closer toward spending deal MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats turn on Al Franken VA slashes program that helps homeless veterans obtain housing: report The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Wash.) that would address rising premiums and limited choices on the state’s insurance market.

However, Alexander yesterday declared that effort dead. Democrats blamed Republican leadership for killing the bipartisan legislation to clear the way for the new repeal attempt.