Trump administration officials will meet with Republican senators Wednesday evening who have been skeptical of various Obamacare repeal plans that have been under consideration for a floor vote.
After having lunch with President Trump at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, mentioned the meeting, which he said will be attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said that the meeting will be with Sen. John Barrasso's office and a "key group of senators who have remaining unresolved issues and hopefully they'll get sorted out and we'll be able to vote on the bill."
But it's unclear what exactly the Senate plans to vote on next week. Before the meeting with Mr. Trump, the plan was to vote on text that resembles a 2015 Senate-passed bill that would repeal Obamacare with a two-year delay to find a replacement plan. After the meeting, senators said that the president emphasized that a repeal must be paired with a replacement plan. Cornyn said they're "still discussing" what they plan to hold a vote on.
"I suspect it'll be anything a senator wants to vote on," he told reporters as he entered his office. "In other words, there's no limitation. If some senator wants to offer an amendment that's the 2015 bill. They can do that. But if we get an agreement here, my preference would be to start to the [Better Care Reconciliation Act]...the agreed-to language. I think we're getting closer."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he believes "people will switch to a yes" and that a vote on the motion to proceed to legislation may happen as early as Monday.
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, meanwhile, said he's still undecided about the motion to proceed to the 2015 bill and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, said they're still opposed to advancing the measure.
As of now, both options -- the BCRA and the 2015 bill -- seem doomed, with neither having the votes to advance.
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