Following a Tuesday luncheon with his colleagues, McConnell vowed to continue working with the House of Representatives and the incoming Trump administration to find consensus around a plan to replace Obamacare, but said that wouldn't stop him from holding the vote on the budget resolution this week. The budget resolution is the first step to repeal Obamacare in a process known as reconciliation. Reconciliation only takes a simple majority in the Senate and can be used to repeal large swaths of Obamacare that had an impact on the budget.
"I can tell you we will go through with the Obamacare repeal resolution this week," McConnell said.
The comments come after many rank and file members have expressed concerns and frustration with leadership that they are moving too quickly to repeal the Affordable Care Act while a consensus for a replacement bill has yet to be unveiled. McConnell said he wouldn't weigh in on what he wanted a replacement bill to specifically look like, but that the Senate was "working on what comes next."
"As I've said, we are gonna be involved with the administration, the House and the Senate in crafting a package that we can all agree on, provide a smooth transition from the disaster we have now to what comes next," McConnell said.
When pressed further, McConnell said he wasn't going to negotiate with the press.
"The replacement as Ive indicated will be done in consultation with the administration and the House, but the first step toward replacement is to repeal and that step will be taken this week," McConnell said.