McConnell says ObamaCare repeal vote will come ‘sometime in the near future’
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the Senate will push forward with trying to repeal ObamaCare.

“Sometime in the near future we'll have a vote on repealing ObamaCare,” McConnell told reporters after a closed-door caucus lunch. 

McConnell acknowledged that his conference does not now have the votes it needs to pass its healthcare bill.

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And on Tuesday, there was evidence that he does not have the votes to bring a bill repealing ObamaCare to the floor.

GOP Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump: GOP candidates need to embrace 'make America great' agenda if they want to win Republicans who backed Trump impeachment see fundraising boost Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week This week: Democrats move on DC statehood Trump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle MORE (Maine) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOn The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump official delayed releasing information on cancer-linked chemical in Illinois: watchdog | Advocacy groups say tech giants need to 'step it up' on sustainability |  GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a 'non-starter' Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats MORE (W.Va.) all said Tuesday that they would oppose taking up the House-passed ObamaCare repeal bill, which would then be used as a vehicle for Senate action.

“At some point we need to find out where the votes are,” Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMissouri Republicans eying Senate bids to hold fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago Guilfoyle named as national chair of Greitens' Senate campaign in Missouri The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring MORE (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, acknowledged to reporters. 

McConnell has sought to remind Republican senators that they voted to repeal ObamaCare just two years ago in a 52-47 vote.

At the time, however, Republicans knew then-President Obama would veto the bill.

McConnell’s remarks on Tuesday suggested he is prepared to move forward with a vote even if the procedural motion fails on the floor, since it would at least show the public — and the White House — where the bill stands.

Such a vote could prove politically damaging for various senators, however.

Several moderate GOP senators are publicly urging leadership to put a bill through “regular order” that would include working with Democrats at public hearings. 

McConnell said that if the repeal-only strategy fails, it is “my suspicion” that there will be hearings on insurance prices, but “we'll have to see what happens.”