Key senator whipping last-ditch ObamaCare repeal bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford MORE (R-Texas) is measuring support for a new bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as lawmakers head toward an end-of-the-month deadline. 

The vote-counting process, known as "whipping," will give GOP leadership a tentative count of which senators support the legislation spearheaded by GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Kim, Moon toss ball to Trump in ‘last, best chance’ for Korean peace GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' MORE (S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (La.). 
 
"What I told Senator Graham is we would work to try to get a sense of where people were ... so my hope is we'll get that preliminary information back in the next few days," Cornyn said, when asked about the vote counting. 
 
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He added the process could also identify members who are undecided or have follow up questions. 
 
 
Instead, the bill would convert the funding into block grants to states. 
 
But the legislation faces an uphill effort to getting through the Senate by the end of the month—when the special budget rules that allow the healthcare bill to pass by a simple majority will expire. 
 
Republicans are currently waiting to get a score back from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which would say how much the bill would cost and how many individuals would gain or lose insurance coverage. 
 
They would also need to win over at least 50 Republican senators, which could be an uphill battle after they failed to clear a "skinny" ObamaCare repeal bill in July and with many of their colleagues eager to move on. 
 
The bill was also discussed during the closed-door GOP caucus lunch on Thursday, with Graham and Cassidy making a presentation. 
 
Graham said after the fact that he thought they had gained support and was happy with Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal MORE's (R-Ky.) response in the lunch. 
 
"He encouraged everybody to jump on board....I'm very pleased with the leader's response," Graham said.  
 
The GOP senator added that "I can tell you this if we had a vote right now we would get 47, 48 votes."