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 CornynLawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil GOP senator: National shelter-in-place order would be an 'overreaction' Lawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package 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.”

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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 PaulRand Paul volunteering at hospital after negative coronavirus test Georgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat 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 John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE and Trump supports simultaneous replacement as well.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash Phase-four virus relief hits a wall 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 CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonTrump's ambitious infrastructure vision faces Senate GOP roadblock  GOP lawmaker touts bill prohibiting purchases of drugs made in China Wisconsin Republican says US must not rely on China for critical supplies MORE (R-Ark.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE (R-Maine), and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight 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.