Trump health chief: Senate will vote on ObamaCare repeal by August

Keren Carrion

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is predicting the Senate will vote on a bill to replace ObamaCare before Congress’s August recess, though GOP senators have refused to give a timeline.

“We will continue to work with the Leader [Mitch McConnell] and all the other senators who are interested, as I say, in working toward a positive, productive outcome. And I do, I believe the Senate will produce a bill this summer,” Price told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday. 
Asked if senators would be able to vote before they leave Washington, Price added, “I believe so.” 
Lawmakers have roughly two and a half months before they are scheduled to leave on July 31. They will return to Washington in early September, where they will need to work out a deal funding the government and avoiding a shutdown. 
{mosads}Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) echoed Price during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, saying, “I really do believe we can get this by the end of the summer.” 
But the pressure from the House and administration to move quickly runs counter to the signals from Senate Republicans, who have been wary of committing to any specific deadline. 
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the Senate will pass a bill this year, but pressed if they could pass legislation by Sept. 30 — the end of the fiscal year — he demurred. 
“No, no, I’m not going to play that game,” the No. 2 Senate Republican told reporters earlier this week. 
Cornyn has also signaled he expects House and Senate lawmakers will need to go to conference to work out their differences, which could drag the healthcare debate well into the fall. 
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hasn’t publicly laid out a timeline for when the Senate could complete its work. 
The Trump administration repeatedly offered predictions on when the House would pass its ObamaCare replacement bill. The House passed the legislation late last week with only GOP support. 
Senate Republicans have a narrow path for passing healthcare legislation through the upper chamber. With 52 seats McConnell can only afford to lose two GOP senators and have Vice President Pence break a tie. 
Senate Republicans are expected to make significant changes to the legislation. In addition to convening a 13-member working group expected to craft the Senate’s proposal, they’re also discussing healthcare in their caucus lunches.
Tags John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan

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