Two more GOP senators announced Monday evening that they are opposed to the Senate Obamacare repeal bill, meaning that even when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) returns from a medical emergency that delayed plans for a vote this week, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not have enough support to even advance the legislation to the floor.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced on Twitter their opposition to the motion to proceed, a procedural vote that would have opened the bill to debate. In a statement, Lee said he opposed the bill –the Better Care Reconciliation, Act–because it kept some Obamacare taxes and regulations, while an amendment that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) negotiated to earn conservative support was not enough to gain his vote.
Moran, meanwhile, was critical of the “closed door process” as well as the substance of the legislation. “We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran said.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) had previously announced that they opposed the latest form of the bill, which was unveiled last week.
Republican leaders had hoped to at least get it through the motion to proceed vote, which would start the floor process during which amendments could also be voted on to secure support.
News that McCain had undergone emergency surgery for a blood clot on Friday had forced McConnell to “defer” a vote for the time being. With McCain’s absence, Republicans did not have the 50 votes to even bring the bill to the floor. Lee’s and Moran’s opposition means that at best the legislation will have to undergo more changes to get the 50 votes to pass it.