The Washington Examiner reports that Senate Republicans will be drawing up their own healthcare bill instead of voting on the American Health Care Act, which was passed by House Republicans last week.
Though House Republicans celebrated the bill — even carting in cases of beer after the vote — lawmakers and pundits on both sides of the aisle agreed that the Senate was unlikely to pass the bill as it was written.
The American Health Care Act was voted on last week before it was scored and priced by the Congressional Budget Office — and before the full text of the bill had even been made public. It’s still not clear how much this bill would cost or how effective it would be. One of Republicans’ most consistent criticisms of the Affordable Care Act was the speed and lack of transparency that came with its passage.
The Senate version may “incorporate” elements of the House bill, but the House bill will not be the starting point, according to Senators who are part of a 12-member “working group” that’s been meeting for weeks to assemble the Senate healthcare bill.
Republican Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R, Texas) says there is “no deadline” for their bill yet, and that they’re more concerned with “working toward getting 51 votes.”
“What we have to do is build a consensus among our conference […] To get to a compromise we can agree to and then present it to the larger conference,” he told the Examiner.
This confirms what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Friday in a press conference, one where he also estimated he wouldn’t be able to get bipartisan support for any repeal effort. “We don’t anticipate any Democratic help at all, so it will be a simple majority vote situation,” he told press, including The Hill.