Published On: Wed, Jun 28th, 2017

Mitch McConnell announces delay on health care vote, ‘still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) told senators on Tuesday that he will delay a vote on the Senate GOP health care bill until after the July Fourth recess.

“We will not be on the bill this week. But we’re still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place,” McConnell told reporters, referring to the number of votes needed for the bill to proceed.

Photo/Congressional Pictoral Directory: 110th Congress

Senators were originally slated to vote on the bill later this week, following a closed-door process by McConnell and other Senate GOP leaders to draft and rush through the bill.

McConnell’s decision came one day after the Congressional Budget Office determined that the bill would result in 22 million fewer people with health insurance by 2026. This figure is already under attack as the CBO made similar claims in March after the House released their version:

“”CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate,” the report reads. “Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.”

Several senators voiced greater concerns about the bill following the CBO analysis on Monday.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, told reporters the effort to get to 50 votes was “fluid” but maintained a degree of hope. “I wouldn’t count McConnell out yet.”

Republican senators were invited to the White House on Tuesday afternoon for a meeting to discuss the bill, McConnell said.

photo Will O’Neill via Flickr

“The president has been very involved,” McConnell told reporters. “He wanted to talk to all of us today. I think that’s helpful.”

President Donald Trump, who privately told GOP senators that the House version of the bill was “mean” and that he wanted a Senate bill “with heart,” has been lobbying senators who have expressed opposition to the bill. Earlier Tuesday, he met with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has criticized the bill as “Obamacare-lite.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump spoke with McConnell on Tuesday morning and has been “fully engaged” with senators.

“For us, it is never been about the timeline but getting the best piece of legislation that helps the most,” Sanders said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Republicans “we can talk” if they “abandon” the bill’s most extreme provisions.

“We’re going to fight this bill tooth and nail, and we have a darned good chance of defeating it,” Schumer told reporters. “The Republicans cannot excise the rotten core at the center of their health care bill.”

Utah Senator Mike Lee became the fifth member Tuesday to plan to vote against the motion to proceed on the health care bill as it is currently written.

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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