President Trump spent Thursday and Friday calling senators to mobilize support for the GOP's healthcare legislation.
Trump called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas) on Thursday, and has been in contact with several other senators, Reuters reported Saturday.
Cruz was one of four conservative senators who announced their opposition to the bill in a statement Thursday.
“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.
Trump is expected to be in contact with more senators in the coming days. On Friday, press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump is optimistic about getting the bill passed.
"We're pleasantly surprised with a lot of the support that's already come out and I think we'll continue to work through [it], in particular the four individuals who have expressed some ideas and concerns," Spicer told reporters.
So far, five Republican senators have said they will oppose the bill. Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTexas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Heller won't say if Biden won election Ex-Sen. Dean Heller announces run for Nevada governor MORE (R-Nev.) became the fifth GOP defection on Friday shortly after Spicer's comments.
"I’m announcing today that in this form, I will not support it," Heller said Friday during a press conference.
"It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a yes," Heller said. "You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That’s what I want."
Republicans have a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, so they can afford to lose only two votes, assuming Vice President Pence breaks a tie.