Four Senate conservatives have announced their opposition to the Senate GOP bill repealing ObamaCare, a power move intended to give them leverage going forward.
Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' Paul, Cruz fire back after Fauci says criticism of him is 'dangerous' No deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline MORE (R-Ky.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeNo deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall The congressional debate over antitrust: It's about time MORE (Utah), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On The Money — Biden stresses calm amid omicron fears MORE (Texas) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes' It's time to bury ZombieCare once and for all Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse MORE (Wis.) all said they are not ready to vote for the bill in a joint statement.
While the statement was not scathing, it said the current bill would not lower healthcare costs enough to win their support.
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor," the statement said.
"There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current healthcare system but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their healthcare costs.”
Conservatives want to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On The Money — Biden stresses calm amid omicron fears MORE (R-Ky.) to revise the legislation and move it further to the right.
McConnell is also under pressure from GOP centrists, creating a difficult balancing act for the leader. Each move he makes to one of the two sides risks losing support from the other.
Of the four conservatives, Paul has long been seen as the least likely to end up voting for the bill. The other lawmakers have been seen as more likely to get to "yes,."
“I don’t think there’s enough, probably, in there to bring down those premiums, which I think is a problem with both the House and maybe the Senate bill now,” he said.
Peter Sullivan and Nathan Weixel contributed.