Senate

Senate GOP to get briefing on healthcare bill changes Tuesday

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Senate Republicans are scheduled to be updated on legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare during a closed-door caucus meeting on Tuesday. 

“We’re supposed to find out more at lunch,” GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) told reporters, after saying she wasn’t able to comment on any changes made to the bill during the July Fourth recess. 

Leadership is hoping to unveil a new draft by the end of the week, setting up a vote for next week. 

A GOP aide separately confirmed that senators are expected to be briefed on revisions that have been made to the bill at Tuesday’s lunch.

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Republicans are returning to Washington on Monday increasingly pessimistic about their ability to pass their bill after campaigning on the issue for years.

With a slim 52-seat majority, GOP leadership can only afford to lose two votes and still let Vice President Pence break a tie.

Moderates have expressed concerns that the legislation could leave many without healthcare coverage, while conservatives have voiced objections that it doesn’t go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said earlier Monday that leadership has been in “continuous” discussions with the caucus, at both a lawmaker and staff level. 

“Everybody’s concerns need to be taken into account,” he said. “The goal is, though, once you secure support from one person, you don’t want to lose it from another. So you can see the challenge.” 

Leadership has sent multiple proposals to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), including a measure from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), but is still waiting to hear back on new scores. 

The Cruz proposal would give insurance companies the freedom to sell any kind of health plans they want as long as they also sell at least one plan that qualifies under the regulatory requirements of ACA.

Cornyn added that he “liked the idea” of Cruz’s proposal but wanted to see both the CBO score and if it complied with Senate rules. 

Tags John Cornyn Shelley Moore Capito Ted Cruz
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