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 strategist: Putin press conference 'made Trump look weak' Release of Carter Page surveillance documents reignites debate Graham: Warrant for Carter Page surveillance was 'a bunch of garbage' MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave New push to break deadlock on paid family leave 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 McConnellPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress GOP to White House: End summit mystery Sunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight 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 MurkowskiThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (Alaska), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Memo: Summit fallout hits White House Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ Obama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena MORE (Ariz.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Overnight Health Care: Novartis pulls back on drug price hikes | House Dems launch Medicare for All caucus | Trump officials pushing ahead on Medicaid work requirements Senate panel to vote next week on banning 'gag clauses' in pharmacy contracts 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 PaulThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia GOP leader blocks resolution backing intelligence community on Russia Rand Paul blocks Sanders's Russia resolution, calls it 'crazy hatred' against Trump 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 AlexanderMontana governor raises profile ahead of potential 2020 bid Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Trump administration to explore importing prescription drugs MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families 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.