In a big blow to United States President Donald Trump’s campaign promise of overhauling the heath care, the Senate will not vote this week on the latest Republican legislation (Graham-Cassidy bill) to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The decision was announced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a lunch with fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill, conceding that they didn’t have enough votes.
Three Senate Republicans had already said that they would vote against the measure and the GOP could only afford two defections.
“We don’t have the votes. Do not be celebrating losing an opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare, because it’s collapsing,” CNN quoted Senator Lindsey Graham as saying.
Emphasising that the Republicans are not giving up on a health care bill, McConnell said, “We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system. We are not going to be able to do that this week, But it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that.”
Trump said that he was “disappointed” in several senators, in an apparent reference to McCain, Paul and Collins.
“At some point there will be a repeal and replace but we’ll see whether or not that point is now or whether it will be shortly thereafter,” Trump said. “But we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.”
Some Republicans are of the view that healthcare and tax reform can be taken up during 2018 budget.
Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy said that Republicans will revisit the Obamacare repeal issue in mid-2018, using the budget resolution for fiscal 2019 to allow them to evade a Democratic filibuster.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Senate Republicans to get rid of the legislative filibuster of requiring 60 vote for a Bill and move towards passing legislation with a 51-vote majority.
Trump has been pressing Republicans to nix the filibuster for months and even spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) to get rid of the option and secure Republicans’ ability to pass their agenda.
Trump has said ” We have to get rid of the filibuster rule. Right now, we need 60 votes and we have 52 Republicans. That means that eight Democrats are controlling all of this legislation. We have over 200 bills.