After most Republican Senators joined President Trump for a White House lunch to arm-twist movement on the Obamacare repeal and replacement effort, Mitch McConnell made a statement to the press about what the next steps involve.
He noted that Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Price and the head of CNS “will be on Capitol Hill tonight, working with some of our members who at least so far have gotten, uh, had some difficulty in getting to “yes.”
McConnell says, “Let me describe what ‘yes’ is. It’s the motion to proceed. We cannot keep the commitment we’ve made to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare unless we get on the bill. So next week we’ll be voting to get on the bill.”
He continues, “I would remind those of you who don’t cover Capitol Hill that this particular type of bill is totally open for amendment. There’s no way I or anybody else could prevent members from having amendments that any fifty-one of us can pass and change the bill. But we cannot have a debate until we get on the bill. So next week we’ll be voting on a motion to proceed and I have every expectation that we’ll be able to get on the bill.”
Asked if the direction is towards repeal or repeal and replace, McConnell said, “I think we have two options here. There is a large majority in our conference that want to demonstrate to the American people that they intend to keep the commitment that they made in four straight elections to repeal Obamacare.”
He said, ‘I think we all agree that it’s better to both repeal and replace, but we could have a vote on either. And if we end up voting on repeal only, it will be fully amendable on the Senate floor and if it were to pass without any amendment at all there’s a two year delay before it kicks in. So the takeaway from what I’m telling you is no harm is done by getting on the bill.”
It’s points out it’s “Wide open for amendment, no matter what I offer as a substitute first, it’s fully amendable.” He told the media, “What I want to disabuse any of you of is the notion that we will not have that vote next week. We’re going to vote on the motion to proceed to the bill, next week.”
He ignored several questions shouted at the same time, one of which was whether they would cancel all of the August recess, instead only stating again, “We’re going to have a vote on the motion to proceed to the bill next week.” So it’s a vote to consider getting off of your behinds and doing something, even if it’s wrong, Senator?
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