Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for a vote to repeal Obamacare with a two-year delay after the plan to replace the law failed to win enough Republican support.
Two more Republican senators announced their opposition to the Republican health care bill on Monday night, leaving the party leadership short of the required votes to move the legislation forward.
“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said in a statement. McConnell said that “in the coming days,” the Senate would vote on “a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”
The lack of support from within his own party left the majority leader with few options to make good on what has been a top Republican priority since the law was passed in 2010.
In a pair of identical tweets, Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah announced they would vote against a procedural measure needed to advance the health care bill to the floor for consideration.
Lee said in a statement, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, [the bill] doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
“We must now start fresh with an open legislative process,” Moran urged in his statement.
Lee and Moran’s simultaneous announcements delivered a apparent body blow to the bill, which would have required the support of at least 50 of the Senate’s 52 Republicans. Two other Republicans, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.) had already announced their opposition. Now with Lee and Moran’s declaration, the bill appears to be dead on arrival.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was quick to comment on the defection of two more GOP senators, saying in a statement, “This second failure of Trumpcare is proof positive that the core of this bill is unworkable.”
President Trump in an apparent response to the announcements by Moran and Lee urged Republicans to vote to repeal Obamacare first and then “attempt to craft” a replacement.
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017