Lindsey Graham: I don’t think GOP can pass healthcare bill this year

Lindsey Graham: I don’t think GOP can pass healthcare bill this year
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday that he does not believe the Senate will pass a major healthcare bill before the end of the year.

"I don’t think there will be. I just don’t think we can put it together among ourselves,” Graham said about passing the bill this year, Bloomberg reported.

Graham's remarks come as Senate Republicans plan to meet Tuesday to discuss options to repeal and replace ObamaCare, as the Senate GOP's healthcare working group considers the details of the Senate plan.

While upper chamber leaders like Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas) have pressed senators to finish healthcare by the end of July, Graham and Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick MORE (R-N.C.) have questioned if healthcare can be done in 2017.  

The Republican-majority House passed a bill in early May that repeals and replaces key provisions of ObamaCare, which many Republican lawmakers have vowed to repeal. The vote is now in the hands of upper chamber. 

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Some Senate Republicans hope to have a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score before voting on the legislation on July 4, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) admitted last week it may be hard to garner enough votes for the healthcare legislation.

“I don’t know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment,” McConnell said, referring to the healthcare bill.

While Republicans have majority power in the upper chamber with 52 seats, just two GOP defections would would likely lead to a 50-50 tie in which Vice President Pence could cast the deciding vote. 

Graham previously warned that the GOP healthcare bill "should be viewed with caution" before the CBO had come out with its score. 

The CBO score for the House bill estimated that 23 million more people would become uninsured by 2026 than if ObamaCare remained in place. And the score also said the Republican bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion over the course of 10 years.