GOP leaders push back at critics of ObamaCare plan

GOP leaders push back at critics of ObamaCare plan

Senate Republican leaders are pushing back against the idea proposed by some in their caucus of passing an ObamaCare replacement at the same time that they repeal the law.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Application portal for venue grants down for five days with no updates Democrats work to pick up GOP support on anti-Asian hate crimes bill MORE (Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, indicated to reporters Monday that simultaneous repeal and replacement is not practical.

“I think we would all like that to be the case but, like I said, it's more aspirational,” Cornyn said of doing a replacement at the same time as repeal. “I think the practical challenges are many and so we're doing the best we can given the hand we've been dealt.”


He noted that fast-track reconciliation rules would not allow a full replacement to be included.

“I think we're better off doing it correctly and carefully rather than just quickly for quickly's sake,” Cornyn added of a replacement, saying he wants replacement to be a step-by-step, bipartisan process.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRepublicans need to stop Joe Biden's progressive assault on America Fauci fatigue sets in as top doc sows doubt in vaccine effectiveness Republican legislators target private sector election grants MORE (R-Ky.) has been the most vocal Republican arguing that the GOP must repeal and replace ObamaCare on the same day. Paul said that he has spoken with President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE and Trump supports simultaneous replacement as well.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell seeks to end feud with Trump Senate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Colin Powell on Afghanistan: 'We've done all we can do' MORE (R-Ky.), like Cornyn, pushed back on the idea of simultaneous repeal and replacement.

“I haven't heard Senator Paul's plan to replace it,” McConnell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “But we will be replacing it rapidly after repealing it.”

Asked to be more specific about what “rapidly” meant, McConnell did not give a timeframe.

Cornyn did suggest Monday, though, that some elements of a replacement plan could be included in a repeal bill.

“I hope so, we're actually looking to try to find some way to do that,” Cornyn said. He declined to say which elements could be included.

Several Republican senators in addition to Paul, including Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonExclusive: GOP senators seek FBI investigation into Biden Pentagon nominee Nikki Haley says if Trump runs for president in 2024 then she won't Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies MORE (R-Ark.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Democrats work to pick up GOP support on anti-Asian hate crimes bill Against mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan MORE (R-Maine), and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFox News inks contributor deal with former Democratic House member Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 MORE (R-Tenn.) have said they think it would reduce uncertainty to show the public what the Republican replacement is before voting to repeal the law.

Democrats have hammered Republicans on the issue, stating that the GOP is essentially hiding the details of their plan until after they vote to repeal ObamaCare.

Republican leaders won’t commit, for example, that their plan will cover at least as many people as ObamaCare.

While Paul has said he will vote against the budget resolution, the first step to set up ObamaCare repeal, because of debt concerns, Cornyn said he is not worried about not having enough Republican votes on the budget.

“I think we’re in good shape,” he said.