Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears no closer to reaching a deal on a health care bill. Talks are continuing, but Senate Republicans are becoming increasingly pessimistic a deal can be reached.
McConnell has little time to make a deal. Republican leaders have said they need to move on to other issues, including a tax-code overhaul and next year’s spending bills, if they can’t agree on a health bill before a month-long August break. For the bill to pass, and Republicans to live up to their promise to eliminate President Barack Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment, they can lose no more than two GOP votes from their 52-48 majority amid unanimous Democratic opposition.
Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said on “Fox News Sunday” that McConnell’s original plan is dead and that what happens with the rewritten version remains to be seen. He put the odds of passing a bill in July at “50-50.”
Given the lack of support for McConnell’s legislation, Senator John McCain of Arizona said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Republicans should write a new bill and let Democrats offer amendments. “That’s what democracy is supposed to be all about,” he said.