Four GOP senators, which is all it will take to kill any bill brought to the floor, say they need definite assurances from House Speaker Paul Ryan that the “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill won’t be Congress’s final draft before they vote.
John McCain (Az), Ron Johnson (Wi), Bill Cassidy (La), and Lindsey Graham (S.C)—who earlier today announced a bill to stop Trump from firing Robert Mueller—said they will vote against any repeal unless they have a guarantee that the legislation will go to a conference committee with the house.
“There’s increasing concern on my part and others that what the House will do is take whatever we pass” and push it through without reviewing the bill or making any necessary changes, Graham said. “The skinny bill as policy is a disaster. The skinny bill as a replacement for ObamaCare is a fraud,” he said.
Not only that, but Graham believes that if the House passes the skinny bill, the GOP will be responsible for ObamaCare’s collapse. “I’d rather get out of the way and let it collapse than have a half-assed approach where it is now our problem,” he continued. Insurers and healthcare groups have warned the GOP that the skinny bill would cause premiums in the insurance marketplace to skyrocket.
According to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), There has been some communication in which it has been reported to me that Paul Ryan said the House is preparing to go to conference,” but noted that, “I have not talked to Paul Ryan. The Senate doesn’t determine whether the House goes to conference.”
“Conference Committee is one option under consideration and something we’re taking steps to prepare for should we choose that route after first discussing with the members of our conference,” Paul Ryan’s spokesperson Ashlee Strong said.
Republicans can only afford two of their members to vote no, which would prompt Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie. This group of Republicans is all that is needed to stop the disastrous repeal that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan desperately want to pass.