Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the Senate would not vote on a GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, delaying the process until after Congress’ July 4 recess so Senate Republicans can discuss “the differences that we have” on health care.
McConnell repeatedly stressed that it’s a complicated issue in an apparent attempt to frame it as no surprise that the Senate needed more time—even though GOP leadership insisted earlier this week that they would push ahead with a vote before July 4, which would have given the public and most Senate Republicans just a week to grapple with a draft of the legislation and mere days to digest a Congressional Budget Office report on it.
“We’re continuing to talk about it. It’s a very complicated subject,” he told reporters. “We’re still optimistic we’re going to get there.”
McConnell emphasized that it’s a “big, complicated subject,” noting that Democrats spent a great deal of time trying to reach consensus on Obamacare in 2009.
“They’re hard to pull together and hard to pass,” he said of bills addressing complex issues like health care.
McConnell said that Senate Republicans “have a number of different discussions going on” but did not detail what changes might be made to the legislation before leadership deems it ready for a vote.
The majority leader confirmed that the Republican caucus would head to the White House later Tuesday afternoon to meet with President Donald Trump. McConnell said that Trump has been involved in the process in the last week, and said that Trump’s involvement would be especially helpful as Republicans embark on a final push to secure enough votes for the bill’s passage.