Four GOP Senators Come Out Against Unconditional ‘Skinny’ Obamacare Repeal

Four GOP Senators Come Out Against Unconditional Skinny Obamacare Repeal

Four Republican senators said Thursday that they need a firm assurance the so-called “skinny” Obamacare repeal will go to conference committee before they can support it.

Sens. John McCain, Ariz., Lindsey Graham, S.C., Ron Johnson, Wis., and Bill Cassidy, La., said they would vote against the measure, which will reportedly include repealing of the individual and employer mandates, ending the medical device tax and defunding Planned Parenthood for a year.

The skinny repeal would not match the House repeal-and-replace bill passed in May, meaning a conference committee between the two chambers would likely be required to craft compromise legislation.

However, the House, in theory, could simply pass the skinny repeal as is, meaning there would be no need for a conference committee.

“We have to have assurance that it will go to a normal conference,” said McCain at a press conference. “Right now that is not the case.”

He added, “I believe one of the major problems with Obamacare is that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats without a single Republican vote. I believe we shouldn’t make that same mistake again.”

McCain’s return from Arizona following recent brain surgery enabled debate on the Obamacare repeal to go forward Tuesday, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote.

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, voted against debate proceeding in the senate.

Both senators have also opposed measures in the past to defund Planned Parenthood, meaning chances of garnering their support for passing a skinny repeal bill seem remote.

President Donald Trump encouraged senators Thursday morning to press on and not “let the American people down.”

The senate is expected to vote on the skinny repeal by Friday.

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