McConnell on last ditch ObamaCare repeal: Find the votes

By Peter Sullivan, September 12, 2017

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) met on Tuesday afternoon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss their last-ditch ObamaCare repeal bill. 

Leaving the meeting in McConnell's Capitol office, Cassidy said the leader's message was that Graham and Cassidy need to find 50 votes for the bill on their own. 

"He just says we need 50 votes," Cassidy said of McConnell. 

The ObamaCare replacement bill faces long odds, and leadership is not throwing its weight behind the effort at this point. Graham and Cassidy plan to introduce their legislation at a news conference on Wednesday, along with Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). 

The effort faces a fast-approaching deadline of Sept. 30 before the fast-track authority to pass it with a simple majority expires. It comes after the GOP's stunning defeat of a prior effort by just one vote.

The bill would end funding for ObamaCare's subsidies and Medicaid expansion and convert those dollars into a block grant for states. Backers say this gives states more flexibility, while Democrats warn the block grants would be too small and would lead to cuts. 

"The Leader has said publicly and repeatedly that to move forward on anything we’ll need at least 50 votes," said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart, calling that a "consistent message." 

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/350344-mcconnell-takes-hands-off-approach-to-last-ditch-obamacare-repeal

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