Top Senate Republican: Obamacare Repeal Vote Is ‘Going To Be Close’

UNITED STATES - MAY 10: Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, talks with reporters in the Capitol on May 10, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

This post has been updated.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said on Sunday that the vote on the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is “going to be close,” according to CNN and the LA Times.

Cornyn told reporters at a Koch brothers retreat in Colorado that he had been negotiating with Republican senators on the bill all weekend and that the Senate is on track to vote on the legislation this week. But he indicated that talks on the bill have been challenging.

“It’s hard,” he said, per CNN. “But there’s no excuse for failure. … When people want to get to ‘yes’ you can have good faith negotiation and get them there.”

The senator said that the Senate must act quickly, identifying August 1 as the hard deadline for Senate passage of the bill, according to Politico.

“We don’t have the luxury of waiting around. It’s not going to get easier,” Cornyn told reporters, per Politico.

However, late Monday morning, Cornyn reversed and said that the Senate must pass the Obamacare repeal bill this week.

Cornyn indicated that President Donald Trump will not play a large role in wooing Republican senators to back the legislation.

“We’re trying to hold him back a little bit,” he said, according to Politico.

The bill faces opposition from a group of four conservative senators, as well as from more moderate senators like Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).