No. 2 Senate Republican: 'No timeline' on ObamaCare replacement bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are signaling they are in no hurry to move legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare after it passed the House Thursday.

“There is no timeline,” Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn raises more than M for Senate GOP Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said when he was asked about a schedule for when the Senate could move a bill.

Asked if action during the current work period running through the end of the month was “realistic,” he added: “There is no timeline. When we get 51 senators, we’ll vote.”

The House narrowly passed legislation, the American Health Care Act,  in a 217-213 vote, fulfilling a years-long pledge and sending the bill to the Senate.

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Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntHartzler pulls in 6,000 for Missouri Senate bid with .65M on hand McConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, also signaled that Republicans are focused on getting a deal that can pass rather than sticking to a specific timeline.

“I can’t imagine there will be a rush to take up the bill as much as a real concentrated effort to find where the 51 votes might be if the 51 votes are still available,” he told reporters.  

The House GOP bill is expected to have to undergo significant changes in the upper chamber to meet budgetary rules that would allow it to block a Democratic filibuster.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he had been asked if lawmakers would be able to pass a bill by June 19 — a key date for insurance companies — but couldn't commit to the timeline.

“I said there’s no assurance I can give you from a substance standpoint or a process standpoint for when that’s going to happen because there’s been such little discussion,” he said.

McConnell has convened a working group of senators as they look for legislation that could pass the upper chamber. Cornyn noted the group met for a second time on Thursday. Lawmakers could also need to go a conference with the House to work out their differences, which would drag out the process.

The hedging on a timeline for the Senate comes after Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamA pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Senators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products MORE (R-S.C.) raised concerns about the rapid pace the House took to pass the legislation. The House voted on the bill even though it did not have a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score.

Several moderate GOP senators came out against an initial version of the House bill that was pulled from the floor in March, over concerns about what happens in their states to ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid, the federal low-income healthcare program.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenators ask Biden administration to fund program that helps people pay heating bills McConnell gets GOP wake-up call Republicans are today's Dixiecrats MORE (R-Maine) urged her colleagues to not move health legislation quickly.

“I think we should take as long as necessary to do the job right, and we certainly need the CBO analysis on the impact of cost and coverage...before we can produce our own bill,” she told reporters.

GOP Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerNevada governor Sisolak injured in car accident, released from hospital Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada Democratic poll finds Cortez Masto leading Laxalt by 4 points in Nevada Senate race MORE (Nev.), the Senate’s most vulnerable Republican up for reelection, and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Ohio) reiterated after the Thursday vote that they could not support the House bill in its current form.