Senate GOP paves way for ObamaCare repeal bill
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Senate Republicans are paving the way for legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age MORE (R-Ky.) fast-tracked the House bill on Thursday, placing it on the Senate calendar and allowing it — as had been expected — to skip over the committee process. 
 
Senate Republicans are writing their own proposal, but will use the House bill as a shell to get their bill through the upper chamber. McConnell's move will allow him to bring up the legislation quickly once Republicans are ready to vote. 
 
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McConnell predicted after a closed-door caucus lunch this week that Republicans would be moving forward with their legislation in the "near future." 

"We've had plenty of time to discuss this issue. … We're getting close to having a proposal to whip and take to the floor," he told reporters during a weekly press conference.

Republicans want to pass their ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill this summer, with some members pointing to the July 4 break, while others want to pass it by the August recess.

But leadership has a narrow path to getting the bill through the Senate. They have 52 seats, meaning they can only lose two GOP senators. No Democrats are expected to vote for the bill.

GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars DOJ: Dem subpoena for Mueller report is 'premature and unnecessary' Dems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions MORE (S.C.) told reporters on Tuesday that "we’ve already lost [Sen.] Rand Paul, so we’re down to 51.” 

But a spokesman for the Kentucky Republican quickly refuted that, saying that Paul "remains optimistic the bill can be improved in the days ahead and is keeping an open mind.” 

Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley Enzi Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump cleaning house on border security Judd Gregg: In praise of Mike Enzi MORE (R-Wyo.), the chairman of the Budget Committee, said this week that the House's bill complied with the reconciliation process, which will allow the legislation to clear through the Senate by a simple majority.  

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersThe biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone GOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal Warren unveils plan to cancel student loan debt, create universal free college MORE (I-Vt.), however, countered that the Senate parliamentarian had only made a decision about a provision in the House bill, not the entire legislation. 

"I am extremely concerned that the chairman of the Budget Committee, in an unprecedented manner, appears to have made that determination himself with regard to the Trump-Ryan health care bill that was passed several weeks ago in the House," he said. 

He added, "I look forward to hearing from the parliamentarian as soon as possible on the broader ruling on whether the Trump-Ryan health care bill is in compliance."