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McConnell announces procedural vote on Obamacare repeal next week

Senate health care

The Senate will take its first procedural vote on legislation that would repeal Obamacare now and replace it later next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday evening.

"For the information of all Senators, at the request of the President and Vice President and after consulting with our members, we will have the vote on the Motion to Proceed to the Obamacare repeal bill early next week," the Kentucky Republican announced from the Senate floor.

The bill's fate is predetermined: it's already expected to hit a dead end, given that three Republican senators signaled Tuesday that they would vote against a motion to proceed on the measure -- Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska -- which effectively kills the bill. 

McConnell made the decision to vote on the bill, which will resemble text passed by the Senate in 2015, late Monday after two more GOP lawmakers came out against a second version of the Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, which blocked it from advancing. The majority leader said the Senate would "have a vote on repealing Obamacare, essentially the same vote that we had in 2015." 

There's an implied challenge here: though Republicans have promised repeal, in the Senate, they've only delivered on that one time -- in the 2015 vote, when it was a certainty that Obama would veto the bill. Holding the vote next week will put senators on the record.   

What's next after health care setback?

President Trump has invited all GOP senators to the White House for lunch Wednesday to discuss a path forward.  

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