Senators return to Capitol Hill facing penalty of tension over healthcare reform

Reporting by Mike Emanuel

Senators return to Capitol Hill facing penalty of tension over healthcare reform.

Fox News has learned there is a new timeline—getting an updated text of the bill to senators by Thursday, CBO score as soon as Monday, and a vote late next week.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey appeared on America’s Newsroom:

“Most folks that we are having trouble with do want to get to a yes. They do want to support most of the bill. There are people who are not quite there yet.”

At least ten GOP senators are opposed to the original Republican proposal. With 52 Republicans, there can only be two no votes to pass a bill with Vice President Pence serving as the tiebreaker.

And now several Republicans have declared the original bill dead, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t given up.

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy:

“He is trying to rework, to get something to work that will pass. But the original version, ten folks opposing…that’s not gonna pass.”

President Trump issued a warning this morning on Twitter:

“I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new healthcare bill fully approved and ready to go!”

There is also pressure on Republican senators at town hall events in their home states.

On the other side of the aisle, Senator Bernie Sanders is trying to move the healthcare debate to the left.

“As soon as we defeat this disastrous bill, I’ll introduce Medicare for all single payer system.”

McConnell wanted a healthcare bill complete by late June. Now there’s fear that more healthcare delays could sidetrack other issues like infrastructure, raising the debt limit and even tax reform.

If McConnell wants to get something like tax reform through, he may soon be forced to abandon healthcare. That’s because Republicans want to use the same filibuster-proof process for tax reform that they’re currently using for healthcare. The problem is, McConnell can’t use the same maneuver for two bills at the same time.

Some newer lawmakers are calling for reducing or dropping the August recess—likely worried about facing their constituents with very few points on the board.