Texas GOP Senate leaders are planning to push their repeal-only bill through the Senate with a simple majority vote, a move that would leave many lawmakers with little chance of holding the GOP accountable in the coming months.
“The bill is a must-pass measure, with the possibility of a quick Senate vote to get to the president’s desk,” Sen. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told reporters on Tuesday.
“We need to do what’s best for the American people, but we have a long way to go.”
Senate leaders are hoping to take a bill to the Senate floor this week.
But the timing is still unclear and they’re still figuring out what they will do once they have a bill ready to go.
“There are some details we need to get resolved,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick DeSantis, D-Texas.
“There are other things we need done that we’re going to need to put on the table,” DeSantis added.
The bill’s prospects are in serious doubt in the Senate.
With GOP leadership eager to move quickly on the legislation, they will likely have the support of only a handful of GOP senators.
The rest of the Republican caucus, which has largely backed the GOP agenda over the past few years, is unlikely to back such a measure.
The White House is looking to push its repeal-and-replace effort through the House.
But as we have noted, Trump has repeatedly called for repeal of the ACA and has threatened to pull the United States out of the healthcare system entirely if it doesn’t.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the administration wants to push repeal through Congress as soon it can.
“I think the Senate should do the right thing, but the House will have to do it,” Priebus said.
“And the House is going to have to pass the bill.”
In the meantime, Republicans in Congress are working to put the health care legislation back on the legislative agenda.
The GOP plans to take up a repeal-replace bill next week, but Republicans are also expected to push a bill next year that will repeal Obamacare without any replacement.