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July 12, 2017

7-12-2017 GOP Senate Healthcare Bill Nuggets (Vox)….

The US Senate won’t get to start their summer vacation on time because they have not gotten enough checked off their to-do list. [Politico / Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim]

  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is making senators stay to hammer out deals on health care and finish other business.
  • Congressional Republicans have decisive majorities in both the House and Senate, but they’ve struggled so far to pass any of their major agenda items. Republicans are still squabbling over health care, and haven’t even touched tax reform. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • McConnell was quick to blame the lengthened schedule on a lack of cooperation with Democrats, but there’s a case to be made that Republicans are the ones tripping themselves up. Republicans don’t need Democrats to pass a health care bill, so the bulk of the fighting has been between moderate and conservative Republicans. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • The first draft of the health care bill was so unpopular with just about everyone that the legislation has gone back into hiding while Senate leadership finishes it.
  • Two new versions will be released on Thursday, one of which is likely to contain an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz that would allow health insurance companies to sell deregulated, non-Obamacare plans as long as they also sell plans that are Obamacare-compliant (something that would make the bill more palatable to conservatives). [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The latest version is expected to keep some of the things that are extremely unpopular with moderates: namely, caps to Medicaid spending and a gradual ending of Medicaid expansion. [Axios / Caitlin Owens]
  • The bills are expected to receive a CBO score next week, but they still face a long slog — and senators are not optimistic about their future. [Politico / Burgess Everett and Jennifer Haberkorn]
  • Repealing and replacing Obamacare is one of the biggest items for Republicans check off their agenda, but it’s not the only thing.
  • McConnell told reporters today that the two extra weeks will also give the Senate more time to confirm presidential nominees and do work on the budget that Congress needs to pass in the fall. They also need to vote on whether to raise the debt ceiling, and conservative Republicans are sure to call for steep cuts in the process. [Roll Call / Ryan McCrimmon]

 

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