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Rand Paul says can't support last-ditch GOP ObamaCare repeal

Rand Paul says can't support last-ditch GOP ObamaCare repeal
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' MORE (R-Ky.) said he can’t support the newest ObamaCare repeal plan a quartet of senators is pushing, highlighting the hurdles the legislation would need to overcome to pass the upper chamber.

Paul called the legislation “Obamacare Lite.”

GOP Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (La.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Graham, Whitehouse: Global transition to renewables would help national security Hillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur Heller9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 On The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World MORE (Nev.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Senate passes bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday Jon Stewart: Coronavirus 'more than likely caused by science' MORE (Wis.) released the legislation on Wednesday.

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The bill would move money for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, tax credits and cost-sharing reduction subsidies to block grants to the states. It would also repeal the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

On Friday morning, Cassidy told reporters that he was “pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side. We’re probably at 48-49 [votes] and talking to two or three more.”

The bill would have to surmount some tough hurdles in order to pass the Senate. The fast-track vehicle the GOP was using to repeal ObamaCare, since it avoided a Democratic filibuster, expires at the end of the month.

Additionally, the legislation could only afford to lose two GOP votes — assuming Vice President Pence swoops in to break a tie — and Paul is already a hard no.

On Monday, Paul told reporters the proposal would “probably” be worse than doing nothing about the health law. Over the summer, Paul was critical of GOP leadership’s repeal-and-replace bill, advocating for a clean repeal of ObamaCare instead.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell shoots down Manchin's voting compromise Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R-Ky.) told Cassidy and Graham Tuesday they would need to find the votes on their own.

“I think Mitch would vote for it, but he said, ‘Go get 50 votes,’” Graham said. Fifty votes would allow Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynFederal government to observe Juneteenth holiday on Friday Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill House approves Juneteenth holiday, sends bill to Biden's desk MORE (R-Texas) is measuring support for the legislation.

"What I told Sen. Graham is we would work to try to get a sense of where people were ... so my hope is we'll get that preliminary information back in the next few days," Cornyn said Thursday, when asked about the vote counting.