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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 LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (R-Utah) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate Republicans demand Google hand over memo advising it to hide data vulnerability Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen Senators demand answers on Trump administration backing of Saudi coalition in Yemen MORE (R-Kan.) on Monday announced their opposition, joining Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks MORE (R-Ky.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns Susan Collins and the mob mentality Graham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh 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 CruzO'Rourke gives 'a definitive no' to possibility of running in 2020 Vicente Fox endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race Beto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' 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 McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Poll finds Dems prioritize health care, GOP picks lower taxes when it's time to vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan MORE (R-Ky.) was also forced to delay the vote, planned for this week, after Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms Comey donates maximum amount to Democratic challenger in Virginia House race Live coverage: McSally clashes with Sinema in Arizona Senate debate 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 CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows GOP shrugs off dire study warning of global warming Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths 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 CorkerOvernight Defense: Trump shifts tone on Saudis | New pressure from lawmakers | Trump: 'Certainly looks' like Khashoggi dead | Pompeo gives Saudis days to wrap up investigation | Trump threatens military action on border to stop migrants Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan 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 FlakeMnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference 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 GardnerDemocrats must end mob rule GOP senators praise Haley as 'powerful' and 'unafraid' Democrats won’t let Kavanaugh debate die 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 HellerPoll: Dems lead in Indiana, West Virginia Senate races, tied in Nevada Poll:Majority of voters say health care 'very important' to them in midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns 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 HoevenTrump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate 74 protesters charged at Capitol in protest of Kavanaugh 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 JohnsonGOP senator seeking information on FBI dealings with Bruce Ohr, former DOJ lawyer Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Senate Homeland chair vents Mueller probe is preventing panel from receiving oversight answers 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 IsaksonTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations Senate eyes Kavanaugh floor vote next week 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 MurkowskiEx-Florida lawmaker leaves Republican Party Murkowski not worried about a Palin challenge Flake on Kavanaugh confirmation: To see GOP 'spiking the ball in the end zone' doesn't seem right 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 PortmanElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms How Kavanaugh got the votes  Collins to support Kavanaugh, securing enough votes for confirmation 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 RubioThe Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference 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 TillisDems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight GOP fractured over filling Supreme Court vacancies in 2020 MORE (N.C.) — Tillis has said the Senate's bill needs to be a "net improvement" over ObamaCare.

Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungMnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference Mnuchin to decide by Thursday whether to attend Saudi conference 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 AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senate blocks Dem measure on short-term health plans | Trump signs bill banning drug price 'gag clauses' | DOJ approves Aetna-CVS merger | Juul ramps up lobbying Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' Senate defeats measure to overturn Trump expansion of non-ObamaCare plans 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 BarrassoWhy grizzly bear hunting season isn’t happening Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Dems to force health care vote weeks before Nov. midterms 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 BurrDems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel The National Trails System is celebrating 50 years today — but what about the next 50 years? 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 CornynFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees 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 CrapoLawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks GOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Republicans shift course after outside counsel falters 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 EnziOvernight Energy — Presented by Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance — Judge upholds Obama's marine monument | GOP lawmakers worried states using water rule to block fossil fuels | Lawmakers press Trump ahead of ethanol decision GOP senators ask EPA to block states that have 'hijacked' rule to stop fossil fuel production Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke 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 GrahamThe Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure Trump rebukes Saudis, but also gives them more time 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 HatchGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Congress should work with Trump and not 'cowboy' on Saudi Arabia, says GOP senator US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK MORE (Utah) 

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEvangelical leader: Not worth risking ties with Saudi Arabia over missing journalist GOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress allows farm bill to lapse before reauthorization deadline 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 ScottOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to increase focus on maternal deaths 7 law enforcement officers shot in South Carolina 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 ThuneThrough a national commitment to youth sports, we can break the obesity cycle Florida politics play into disaster relief debate GOP chairman: FEMA has enough money for Hurricane Michael 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 WickerSenate Republicans demand Google hand over memo advising it to hide data vulnerability Shipping companies want Congress to increase shipping truck size Ricin attacks will continue 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."