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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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 MurkowskiMurkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride Overnight Energy: Park Service plans to pay full-time staff through entrance fees | Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax | Interior chief takes heat for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change Democrats grill Trump Interior chief for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights MORE (Maine) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoCongress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Congressional Women's Softball team releases roster 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 BluntHit singer Andy Grammer says 'unity' more important than any political party Top GOP senator: 'More harassment than oversight' in House Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group 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.”