THE BIG IDEA: A last-gasp Hail Mary for full repeal of Obamacare appears certain to fail. There are not the votes in either chamber of Congress.
Mitch McConnell pulled the second draft of his health-care bill last night after two more Republican senators came out against even bringing it up for debate on the floor: Utah’s Mike Lee and Kansas’s Jerry Moran.
“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” the Senate majority leader said in a statement sent at 10:47 p.m.
He announced that he’ll bring the bill that already passed the House up for consideration “in the coming days,” and the first amendment the Senate would take up would be for the full repeal of Obamacare (with a two-year delay for implementation). But to get that vote on repeal, conservative critics must vote to allow debate on the broader bill.
If the clean vote for full repeal failed, as it almost certainly would, senators could continue making additional amendments that may make the measure even more unpalatable to conservatives.
GOP lawmakers have voted repeatedly to repeal Obamacare, and the Senate even passed a bill with this exact same language in 2015. But Barack Obama was president then, and it was a safe vote because everyone knew he’d veto it. This would no longer be a show vote.
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