Collins, Cruz Signal Opposition To O’care Repeal As Authors Prepare Bill Changes

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, listens as fired FBI director James Comey recounts a series of conversations with President Donald Trump as he testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. Comey alleges Trump repeatedly pressed him for his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the probe into his campaign's Russia ties.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, listens as former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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As Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) indicated on Sunday that they could vote against Senate Republicans’ latest Obamacare repeal bill, the legislation’s authors prepared to release changes to the bill in an apparent attempt to win over key senators.

Collins, who has been publicly wary of the bill, has yet to come out firmly against the Graham-Cassidy bill. However, she made clear on Sunday that there’s a very small chance she could support the legislation.

“It’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that she will wait for the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill before making a final decision.

During an appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival, Cruz said that Republican senators had yet to win his support for the bill, and that Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was also apprehensive about the legislation.

“Right now they don’t have my vote, and I don’t think they have Mike Lee’s either,” Cruz said Sunday.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have already come out firmly against the bill, so Republican leaders cannot afford to lose another member of their caucus.

With the bill on its last legs, its authors are preparing to release a new draft of the bill on Monday in a final attempt to win over the remaining holdouts. The bill would target Maine and Alaska, the home states of Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), another senator likely to oppose the bill, according to reports from Politico and the Washington Post.

The revised legislation provides more funding to both Maine and Alaska compared to previous versions of the bill, according to a summary obtained by the Washington Post. The bill would also send more funds to Arizona and Kentucky, the home states of McCain and Paul, according to a draft of the bill obtained by Politico.

Before revisions to the bill were leaked to the press Sunday night, President Donald Trump took a break from tweeting about the NFL to push GOP senators to back the legislation.


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