Ryan: Graham-Cassidy ‘best, last chance’ to repeal ObamaCare
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Monday that the Graham-Cassidy legislation is the GOP’s “best, last chance” to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and that he would bring the bill to the House floor without plans for a conference committee.
“We hope the Senate does pass Graham-Cassidy. We’re encouraged by the development of Graham-Cassidy,” Ryan said at a town hall-style event at the Harley-Davidson facility in Menomonee Falls, Wis. “And I am encouraging every senator to vote for Graham-Cassidy, because it is our best, last chance to get repeal and replace done.
“And I do believe it is a far greater improvement over the status quo,” the Speaker continued. “I’ll take [the] federalism of Graham-Cassidy over a collapsing ObamaCare system any day.”
Ryan shepherded an ObamaCare repeal and replace bill through the House chamber earlier in May, but GOP senators saw their own health bill go down in flames this past summer.
With a Sept. 30 budget “reconciliation” deadline fast approaching, GOP senators are rallying behind the new effort.
Ryan said it would be his “intention” to bring the new bill, named after GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) to the House floor if it passes the Senate given the end-of-the-month deadline, after which Republicans will no longer be able to special rules to avoid a Democratic filibuster.
The Senate’s “deadline is approaching, so that means a conference committee is probably not possible,” Ryan said.
The legislation got a boost Monday when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who helped kill the last repeal bill, said he could possibly support Graham-Cassidy.
But another Republican who voted against the Senate’s previous effort, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), voiced skepticism, saying it would be “problematic” to vote on the new legislation without a full Congressional Budget Office score.
At the Harley-Davidson event on tax reform, Ryan also told reporters he was very concerned about a new report that credit reporting firm Equifax knew about a major hack of its computer systems months before it disclosed the breach to the public.
The company said the March breach was not related to the hack that exposed personal and financial data of more than 140 million Americans.
“First, I think we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of what happened with Equifax and to see if there are gaps in laws and regulations that need to be filled,” Ryan said, noting that the House Energy and Commerce and Financial Services committees will be holding hearings soon on Equifax.
“In this 21st century, with cyber attacks and technology, we’re clearly going to have privacy issues. We’re clearly going to have cyber issues. And the question is what can we do to always stay ahead of the problem to prevent these things from happening again.”