Things are coming down to the wire for the Republican-majority Senate. With a vote scheduled this week to focus on the GOP’s election-based promises surrounding health care, no one knows exactly what they will be voting on, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t yet decided — leaving the party in disarray and disagreement over what the next best steps will be.
Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) was on Fox News Sunday yesterday explaining that McConnell would make a decision soon on whether the Senate will vote on repeal and replace or simply repeal Obamacare without anything to replace it. While this week’s vote is considered procedural (and won’t enact anything into law), it’s worrisome that the party isn’t even sure which road they will go down when it comes to amending health care.
By the numbers, simply repealing Obamacare would leave millions of Americans without any health coverage, something that three Republican women senators are working against. While it seemed as if Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had successfully ended any discussion of repealing without a new bill, McConnell does not want to head into a Senate break without having tabled some sort of health care legislation.
With at least two GOP Senators unwilling to vote with their party, and Senator John McCain out after his brain cancer diagnosis, it remains to be seen if the GOP has enough votes to pass any legislation, procedural or not, at this time. The last time the Senate had a close vote, Vice President Mike Pence stepped in and cast a tie-breaking vote to sway in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood, and he could do so again this time.
“We don’t know whether we’re going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill, or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act,” Collins said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “I don’t think that’s a good approach to replacing legislation that affects millions of people.”
Do you think the Senate will be able to come to terms with their own health care legislation? Tell us @BritandCo!
(h/t Refinery29; photos via Getty)