GOP senator: Don't expect Trump to 'have your back' on healthcare vote

GOP senator: Don't expect Trump to 'have your back' on healthcare vote
© Greg Nash
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's intraparty feuds divide Republicans Trump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP MORE (R-S.C.) is offering some frank advice for fellow Republican senators hoping to get help from the White House on repealing and replacing ObamaCare: Think again. 
 
"Here's what I would tell any senator: If you're counting on the president to have your back, you need to watch it," Graham told reporters with a laugh on Monday evening. 
 
"If you're looking for political cover from the White House, I'm not sure they're going to give it to you," he said. 
 
Graham's comments came after he was asked about Trump calling the House-passed legislation "mean" during a closed-door meeting with senators earlier this month. 
 
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The remarks appeared to catch lawmakers off guard, and marked a turn from when the president publicly praised the bill during a Rose Garden celebration last month. 
 
The Senate is expected to vote on its bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as soon as this week. 
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE (R-Ky.) will have a narrow path to clearing any proposal. With 52 seats, he can only afford to lose two GOP senators and still rely on Vice President Pence to break a tie. 
 
Republicans are facing a new hurdle in their effort to vote on the bill before the July 4 recess, after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis found that the Senate legislation would result in an additional 22 million individuals becoming uninsured by 2026.

The analysis also found that lower financial assistance in this bill compared with ObamaCare would make premiums unaffordable for many low-income people.

“If you were on the fence, if you were looking at this as a political vote, the CBO score didn’t help you,” said Graham, who nonetheless is leaning in favor of the bill himself.

Four GOP senators have said they will vote to effectively block the bill on a procedural hurdle unless changes are made. Several other swing votes signaled on Monday evening that they remain undecided. 
 
A pro-Trump super PAC, "America First Policies," began preparing a seven-figure ad buy against Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R-Nev.) after he announced he didn't currently support the Senate's bill. 
 
Heller is from a state that expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare and is also the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for reelection in 2018.