McConnell: 'I don't know how we get to 50' votes on ObamaCare repeal

McConnell: 'I don't know how we get to 50' votes on ObamaCare repeal
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Senate GOP eyes 'nuclear option' for Trump nominees next week Taiwan’s President Tsai should be invited to address Congress MORE (R-Ky.) says he doesn't know how Senate Republicans are going to get enough votes to pass an ObamaCare replacement bill. 

"I don't know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment. But that's the goal,” McConnell told Reuters in an interview Wednesday. "And exactly what the composition of that [bill] is I'm not going to speculate about because it serves no purpose." 

Senate Republicans have been meeting multiple times a week for most of this month to try to find a path forward on healthcare after the House passed the American Health Care Act three weeks ago.

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But McConnell opened the interview by saying “There's not a whole lot of news to be made on healthcare."

The majority leader expressed more optimism about tax reform, calling chances for passage “pretty good” and saying it is “not in my view quite as challenging as healthcare."

Senate Republicans say they are going to vote on an ObamaCare replacement bill at some point, but it might not pass. 

No Democrats are expected to vote to repeal former President Obama's signature healthcare insurance law. Republicans have a 52-vote majority in the Senate, so they can only lose two GOP votes and still have the 50 votes needed to pass a bill.

Senate Republicans, though, are facing divisions on a range of issues, perhaps most prominently how deeply to cut Medicaid and how to unwind ObamaCare’s expansion of the program. 

Senate Republicans hope to be able to vote on a bill before the August recess. 

This story was updated at 6:13 p.m.