Schumer: Dems have 'damn good chance' of blocking ObamaCare repeal
© Keren Carrion

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) is appearing bullish about Democrats' chances to peel off enough GOP votes to block legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

Schumer said Wednesday that if Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Trump rules out starting a new party: 'Fake news' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE (R-Ky.) pushes to advance legislation before the July 4 holiday recess, Democrats will move to block it.

"The only way you can get on [with] a bill is called the motion to proceed. ... Our whole focus if McConnell will bring this up right before July Fourth is to get three votes against the motion to proceed, and we think we have a damn good chance," Schumer told "Pod Save America," a podcast run by former Obama administration staffers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schumer added that it was the "number one goal" of the Democratic caucus to try blocking the legislation — which is yet be finalized — on an initial procedural hurdle. 

If Democrats aren't able to win over three Republicans, Schumer said that "everything is on the table."

"This is full-scale warfare. ... We're not going to be complacent or going along or business as usual," he said.

Democrats have limited options for slowing down the bill once it gets to the Senate floor.

Liberal activists are urging them to try to block the healthcare bill or force Republicans to hold a hearing by filing thousands of amendments once the Senate's bill is on the floor.

Schumer added that forcing votes on hundreds of amendments was a "possibility" but Democrats needed to look into if Republicans could shut them down on the Senate floor.

Republicans are expected to release a "discussion draft" of their bill on Thursday as leadership eyes holding a vote next week.

The move would allow them to have a vote before the July 4 recess, freeing up July to move on to other policy issues if the bill fails or merge their legislation with the House's if it passes.

Republicans have a narrow window to pass legislation. They hold 52 seats, meaning they can only afford to lose two GOP senators and still have Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.

Schumer's comments come as top Republicans are also signaling increasing confidence about their chances of passing a bill.

"It's my job to find 50 votes, and we're going to have 50 votes. ... I just don't see [us] doing nothing," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House Politics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees MORE (R-Texas) told reporters on Tuesday, when asked if Republicans would bring up a healthcare bill even if they thought it would fail.