GOP senator: 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill couldn’t pass upper chamber today

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is signaling that a conservative alternative to the House ObamaCare repeal bill likely wouldn’t be able to get enough support to clear the Senate. 
“I don’t think we could get the majority in the Senate because there’s another group of people saying that we want to do repeal and replace,” Lankford told a local radio station on Monday. 
Asked if the Congress could just repass the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, Lankford added, “We could use that same piece, if we could get a majority to be able to do that.”
{mosads}Conservative Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, have introduced an alternative ObamaCare repeal bill mirroring the 2015 legislation, which cleared Congress but was vetoed by President Obama. 
The legislation would effectively split repeal and replace into separate bills. 
That could alienate a group of moderate GOP senators who have said they want to move repeal and replace together or, at a minimum, have replacement details locked down before voting to repeal. 
Lankford added that moving repeal and replace together is “quite frankly where the president has been as well.” 
“That’s not an unfair statement and I get where he’s going with that,” the GOP senator added. “The challenge is how do you actually do that under reconciliation.” 
Republicans are struggling to coalesce behind an ObamaCare repeal bill. A House GOP bill, backed by leadership, is taking fire from both moderate lawmakers and conservatives, including the House Freedom Caucus. 
Lankford added on Monday that there is a “lot of frustration” within the Senate over the bill, known as the American Health Care Act, including the lack of a Congressional Budget Office analysis. 
“Most folks in the Senate, and I would say the vast majority, are saying if we don’t get some things right this should not move,” he added. 
GOP leadership faces a narrow path to clearing ObamaCare repeal and replacement through the Senate. Under reconciliation, they need a simple majority, and Republicans currently hold 52 seats.
With no Democrats expected to support ObamaCare repeal, Republicans can only afford to lose two GOP senators and in such a scenario would then need Vice President Pence to break a tie. 
Tags Rand Paul

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video