Ryan: House Is ‘Fine-Tuning Our Consensus’ On Health Care Bill

Tom Williams/CQPHO

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Wednesday that he was confident that Republicans’ proposal would pass the House of Representatives, though he hedged that Republican members of Congress were “fine-tuning our consensus” on the bill.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Ryan said that, while the Senate would be able to amend the bill, he was confident he had a “consensus” in the House of Representatives

“Let me say something about senators,” he said, seemingly in reference to some Republicans senators who have warned the House bill might not reach 51 votes in the Senate. “Senators aren’t helpless to the House. Once the House is done with a bill, we send it to the Senate and they take it from there. So, if a senator doesn’t like a provision in this bill or this bill at all, the senator can amend the bill.”

“They can change this bill,” he added later. “They can amend this bill. That’s the legislative process. So, as far as the House is concerned, we have consensus and we’re fine-tuning our consensus, going to the goal line with our President to get this done, and then it goes over to the Senate and they start over there.

But, when Tapper asked if the bill had the votes to hypothetically pass the House today, Ryan didn’t answer directly.

“It’s not coming up this afternoon, it’s going through the legislative process,” he said. “That legislative process has not been finalized. So that’s kind of a – no offense, kind of a goofy question or faulty premise because this goes through four committees.”

“We’ve gone to two so far,” he continued. “By the way, the two committees it went through, unanimous Republican votes in each of those committees. And those committees compromise a cross-section of our House majority. So we feel we’re in a very good spot. And we’re making it even better by getting feedback from our members and working with the White House to make it better.”

Still, the AHCA faces plenty of opposition from conservative members of the House, primarily members of the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) told Politico Wednesday that he intended to vote against the bill in the House Budget Committee.

“It’s a tough vote in committee,” he told the publication. “It’s going to be close, but I don’t know where the votes are right now.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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