Paul Ryan Is On Board With The Senate’s Final Obamacare Repeal Push

UNITED STATES - APRIL 26: Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts a news conference after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on April 26, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQPHO

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Monday night that if the Senate passes its latest proposal to repeal Obamacare, he will bring the legislation to the House floor for a vote quickly.

“We hope the Senate does pass Graham-Cassidy. We’re encouraged by the development of Graham-Cassidy,” Ryan said at an event in Wisconsin, according to The Hill. “And I am encouraging every senator to vote for Graham-Cassidy, because it is our best, last chance to get repeal and replace done.”

The House speaker noted that if the Senate passes the legislation pushed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) next week, there will not be enough time for the House and Senate to make changes in a conference committee. The House would need to take an up-or-down vote on the Senate’s legislation, Ryan said. Congress has a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the bill, since the Senate’s ability to pass it with just 51 votes will expire at that time.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of ultra-conservative House members that often pushes back against legislation backed by GOP leadership, told Politico on Monday that he believes the Graham-Cassidy bill would pass the House.

“It’s fundamentally our last chance to make a legislative fix to Obamacare, and if it doesn’t happen, then the chances of it happening in the future are slim to none,” Meadows said. “And so, I fully expect that if it makes it out of the Senate, the pressure will be so great — from moderates to conservatives — to get it passed.”

However, some Republicans, like Rep. Pete King (R-NY) have voiced skepticism about the latest Senate bill.

“Right now, I don’t see how I could vote for it,” King told the Washington Post on Monday. “It’s extremely damaging to New York.”