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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 PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism 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 CassidyBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Senator releases photos of man wanted in connection with Capitol riot MORE (La.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators call for commission to investigate Capitol attack Wisconsin Democrats make ad buy calling on Johnson to resign Efforts to secure elections likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress 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 McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief 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 CornynLimbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Top Texas Democratic Party staffers to step down after underwhelming election results K Street navigates virtual inauguration week 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.