GOP senator urges party to cancel House healthcare vote

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is urging House Republicans to cancel the vote slated for Thursday to pass their healthcare plan, saying the proposal won’t pass in its current form.

“I am strongly, strongly persuaded that it is not going to pass. I think they should cancel the vote because they don’t have the votes,” Lee said during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

“The fact remains, they don’t have the votes to pass this. They need to bring people who have concerns, bring in conservatives, let them express what their concerns are. We can still fix this,” Lee added.

Lee said other Republicans “absolutely” do not need to support the GOP healthcare proposal because it does not fulfill the Republican promise to fully repeal and replace ObamaCare.

{mosads}“What we have been promising for seven years is if Republicans were given the chance to govern, we would repeal ObamaCare, root and branch,” Lee continued. “That is not what this bill does. That is what we need to do, and that is why I am holding out for a vote that fulfills that promise.”

Lee said that “President Trump’s message has been hijacked” by people with different goals than the president.

“His agenda of repealing ObamaCare has been hijacked by people who don’t share his values, by people who don’t share his desire to repeal ObamaCare. We do need to repeal it and this bill, unfortunately, doesn’t repeal as much of ObamaCare as we need,” Lee added.

Lee, when pressed to clarify who “hijacked” Trump’s message, ducked at the suggestion that it was Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“I’m not accusing any one person of hijacking it. But I am saying this bill does do that. This bill contains a false promise of providing Americans with meaningful healthcare cost relief. The bill does not provide that. And it doesn’t repeal all of ObamaCare,” Lee said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Senate GOP leaders want to pass the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation next week despite divisions over the House bill.

Lee tweeted earlier Tuesday declaring he will vote against the healthcare plan:

Lee is among six Republican senators who have said they will not vote for the healthcare plan, according to The Hill’s Whip List. Republicans can afford two defections in the Senate.

The House is slated to vote on the bill Thursday. Republicans cannot afford more than 21 defections in the House, and at least 22 Republicans have come out against it, according to The Hill’s tally.

Tags Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan

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