The Hill's Whip List: Decision time on Senate ObamaCare repeal bill

Senate GOP leaders lack the votes to pass their revised bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, with four Republicans opposing the bill.

Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland Senators clinch votes to rebuke Trump on Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Utah) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Senators clinch votes to rebuke Trump on Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Kan.) on Monday announced their opposition, joining Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales MORE (R-Ky.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates Democratic challenger to Susan Collins announces Senate bid MORE (R-Maine).

The second bill included changes to win more support from conservatives and centrist Republicans, but moderates withheld their support over cuts to Medicaid. And an amendment from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOcasio-Cortez and Cruz's dialogue shows common ground isn't just for moderates Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists MORE (R-Texas) to allow insurers to sell some plans that didn't meet ObamaCare requirements won over conservatives but worried centrists.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ky.) was also forced to delay the vote, planned for this week, after Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain#JohnMcCainDay trends on Trump's 73rd birthday #JohnMcCainDay trends on Trump's 73rd birthday New poll finds little GOP support for spending cuts to specific federal programs MORE announced he would be in Arizona recovering from a surgery.

McConnell had little room for error. With only a 52-vote majority he could only afford two defections. All Democrats are expected to oppose any repeal bill, but Vice President Pence could be called in to break the tie.

Here’s a look at where McConnell’s conference stands on the legislation. The Hill will be updating this list.

Please send updates to mmali@thehill.com

Last updated at 10:22 p.m. July 17.

 

No (4)

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) — Collins said Thursday she would not vote to proceed on the new bill. "My strong inclination and current intention is to vote no on the motion to proceed," she told reporters. "The only way I'd change my mind is if there's something in the new bill that wasn't discussed or that I didn't fully understand or the CBO estimate comes out and says they fixed the Medicaid cuts, which I don't think that's going to happen." Collins opposed the first bill after seeing the CBO score and said it would take a “complete overhaul” for her to get to yes.

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) — The conservative joined Paul, Johnson and Cruz in a statement opposing the first bill. On Monday night, he said he will not vote on the motion to proceed, saying, "In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations."

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.) — Moran announced his opposition to the first bill after leaders delayed the vote. On Monday night, he teamed up with Lee to say he'll oppose the motion to proceed. "This closed-door process has yielded the [bill], which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one," he said in a statement. 

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) — Paul is McConnell's fellow home-state senator but is a hard get. Paul has said he will oppose the revised bill, believing it leaves much of ObamaCare in place. He's also floated repealing ObamaCare now and having senators pass a replacement bill later.

 

Undecided/Unclear (21)

Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' August recess under threat as yearly spending bills pile up MORE (W.Va.) — Capito said she does not know if she’ll vote to advance the new bill. “We have another meeting this afternoon on the Medicaid cuts,” she said Thursday. “I need to really look at it, look at the score, I still have concerns.” She has expressed concerns the first bill did not do enough to combat opioid abuse and cut Medicaid too deeply. Capito told Politico during the July Fourth recess that she will kill the repeal bill if it comes down to her. “If I have to be that one person, I will be it.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) — Cassidy won headlines when he talked about how the bill needed to pass a "Jimmy Kimmel test" on whether it would prevent children with pre-existing conditions from getting coverage. Cassidy on Thursday said he was not sure if he would vote to advance the revised bill. Cassidy has worked with Collins on alternate legislation.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPress: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (Tenn.) — Corker was undecided on the first bill.

Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.) — “I look forward to hearing directly from Montanans on this legislation,” Daines said about the first bill.

Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa)  Ernst did not take a position on Senate Republicans’ first healthcare reform bill and said she was polling her constituents to gauge their feelings on it.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeDemocrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (Ariz.) — Flake is up for reelection in 2018. He said he would "thoroughly read and review it" after the first bill's release.

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (Colo.) — “If we can have opportunities to make the bill better, then by all means let’s take every chance and (all the) time we can,” he said of the first bill, according to the Denver Post.

Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (Nev.) — Heller said he is undecided on the revised bill. “I'm going to take a look at the bill,” he said Thursday. “We'll read it over the weekend and come up with a decision and see if there's any improvements.” He strongly opposed the initial bill, raising concerns about the phaseout of the Medicaid expansion. Heller is viewed as the most vulnerable GOP senator up for reelection next year, so his vote will be closely watched.

Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenMcConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal McConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal Senators introduce bill to prevent border agency from selling personal data MORE (N.D.) — Hoeven “doesn’t support the bill as it stands,” according to The Bismarck Tribune over the July 4 recess.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: Lawmakers angered over Border Patrol breach | Senate Dems press FBI over Russian hacking response | Emails reportedly show Zuckerberg knew of Facebook's privacy issues | FCC looks to improve broadband mapping Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers angered over Border Patrol breach | Senate Dems press FBI over Russian hacking response | Emails reportedly show Zuckerberg knew of Facebook's privacy issues | FCC looks to improve broadband mapping Lawmakers demand answers on Border Patrol data breach MORE (Wis.) — Johnson joined three of his colleagues in opposing the first bill. He said on July 17 that he was now undecided on the revised bill. He said he had heard from colleagues that McConnell had told some senators that efforts to scale back Medicaid wouldn't go into effect.

McConnell pushed back on that claim, saying he backed the cuts in the bill.

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonSenate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump GOP senators work to get Trump on board with new disaster aid package Senators say they've reached deal on Puerto Rico aid MORE (Ga.) — Isakson was undecided on the first bill, saying that he was "fully and thoroughly reviewing it."

Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) — Lankford told CNN that he has found six areas where he has "problems and suggestions" on the first bill, adding "none of them are showstoppers ... but there are problems we need to fix before we get this into law." 

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — McCain expressed concerns with the revised bill Thursday and said measures important to his home state had been left out. But he said he would vote to begin debate.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Klobuchar, Murkowski introduce legislation to protect consumer health data MORE (Alaska) — Along with Collins, Murkowski has suggested she might not back a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. After the revised bill was released, she suggested addressing Medicaid reform separate from ObamaCare repeal. “Let’s leave Medicaid off the table for right now. Let’s bifurcate this,” she said. “This is not something that in my view is best done in a reconciliation process.”

Sen. David Perdue (Ga.) — Perdue was undecided on the first bill, saying he wanted to read it "in detail."

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump MORE (Ohio) — Portman Thursday was unclear on whether he would vote to advance the revised bill. “I'm the same position I've been in. I'm looking at the language,” he said. Portman, along with Capito, opposed the first bill, saying it did not do enough to address the opioid epidemic. He has also expressed concerns about the cuts to Medicaid.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (Fla.) — After the first bill was released, Rubio's office said he would "decide how to vote on health care on the basis of how it impacts Florida." 

Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) Sasse said he was not committed to the Senate GOP’s first ObamaCare repeal bill. Sasse told conservative donors at a conference the bill was “largely a Medicaid reform package,” according to Vox. "This is not a full repeal or full replace piece of legislation, and that’s dictated by a whole bunch of circumstances. So we are having a conversation about something that’s much smaller than that.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) — In a statement after the first bill was released, Sullivan said he “will read every word” of it, looking closely at stabilizing the state’s insurance market, cutting costs and “providing a sustainable and equitable path forward for Medicaid.”

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTrump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Trump hit with fierce backlash over interference remarks MORE (N.C.) — Tillis has said the Senate's bill needs to be a "net improvement" over ObamaCare.

Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Tillis dodges primary challenge in NC MORE (Ind.) — Young was undecided on the first bill but told a group in his home state that "doing nothing is not an option."

 

Yes/Leaning Yes (18)

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderTaylor Swift thanks Cory Booker for signing Equality Act petition Taylor Swift thanks Cory Booker for signing Equality Act petition Senate health panel to move forward on package to lower health costs next week MORE (Tenn.) — Alexander praised nearly a dozen measures in the first bill he thought benefitted his state. "To begin with, the draft Senate health care bill makes no change in the law protecting people with pre-existing conditions, no change in Medicare benefits, and increases Medicaid funding — that's TennCare — at the rate of inflation," he said in a statement. 

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoBipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' MORE (Wyo.) — Barrasso touted the first bill during an interview with Fox News. "That's the only way we can fundamentally change away from Obamacare, get rid of all the hated mandates and the taxes and put Medicaid on a sustainable course long-term, get down the costs of care and insurance," he said.

Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) — Blunt praised the first bill, saying it "preserves access to care for people with pre-existing conditions, strengthens Medicaid and does not change Medicare, gives people more health insurance choices, and allows people to stay on their family health insurance plan until they are 26." 

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Tillis dodges primary challenge in NC MORE (N.C.) — Burr said the initial bill was "not perfect" but "does provide the funding we need to support our most vulnerable North Carolinians."

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Overnight Health Care: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major 'Medicare for All' hearing MORE (Texas) — Cornyn is the No. 2 Senate Republican. "The time to close the book on Obamacare is now. Our plan will help deliver access to better care at a price the American people can actually afford," he said of the initial repeal bill.

Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoCongress can defend against Russia by outlawing anonymous shell companies On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump MORE (Idaho) — Crapo praised the first repeal bill "as a promising step toward maintaining affordable care.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) — Cruz told reporters on Thursday he would back the new bill that includes an amendment from him to allow insurers to sell plans that don’t meet ObamaCare requirements. "If this is the bill, I will support this bill," Cruz said. But he cautioned, "Now, if it’s amended and we lose the protections that lower premiums, my view could well change."

Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziBeware of the 'unknown knowns' of budget reform The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa MORE (Wyo.) — Enzi praised the initial legislation in a statement, saying that "after months of hard work, Senate Republicans are proposing solutions to address the challenges to health care created by Obamacare that are affecting millions of hardworking families."

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally MORE (S.C.) — Graham said he was leaning toward supporting the first bill, but acknowledged its CBO score would cost it votes.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — The Senate majority leader said Republicans "believe we have a responsibility to act and we are for our constituents, for our states and for our country" when he unveiled the first bill.

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer Trump gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify MORE (Utah) 

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEPA exempts farms from reporting pollution tied to animal waste EPA exempts farms from reporting pollution tied to animal waste Conservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries MORE (Kan.) — Roberts had said he wanted get feedback from his state, but also offered a strong endorsement of the first bill.

Sen. Mike Rounds (S.D.) — Rounds called the first bill a “step in the right direction” Thursday. 

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOn The Money: Trump weighs emergency declaration for Mexico tariffs | GOP senators look to rein in Trump on trade | Powell says Fed may cut rates if trade war hurts economy On The Money: Trump weighs emergency declaration for Mexico tariffs | GOP senators look to rein in Trump on trade | Powell says Fed may cut rates if trade war hurts economy Trump floats new emergency declaration to impose Mexico tariffs MORE (S.C) — “I’m close to yes,” Scott told reporters on the first bill.

Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) — Shelby told Bloomberg on the initial bill: "I'm going to support this bill. I want to see all the details."

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump's border funding comes back from the dead Public policy expert: US has become 'outlier' on immigration practices Public policy expert: US has become 'outlier' on immigration practices MORE (S.D.) — The No. 3 GOP senator said in a statement that the first bill "isn't perfect" but "represents a far better and more responsible approach to caring for the American people than the 2700-page disaster that is Obamacare."

Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) — Toomey called the bill a “first step” toward repealing ObamaCare. “Some of my conservative friends who are concerned that the bill doesn't go far enough. I am sympathetic about the kinds of reforms they would like to make to lower premiums through more market forces and greater freedom on the part of consumers, but I see this bill as a first step,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. "It's not the last step.”

Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley: Democratic state AGs sue to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger | House kicks off tech antitrust probe | Maine law shakes up privacy debate | Senators ask McConnell to bring net neutrality to a vote Hillicon Valley: Democratic state AGs sue to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger | House kicks off tech antitrust probe | Maine law shakes up privacy debate | Senators ask McConnell to bring net neutrality to a vote Lawmakers demand answers on Border Patrol data breach MORE (Miss.) — Wicker said the initial bill "represents another step to move us away from the unworkable aspects of Obamacare and toward a smaller government approach."