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Lawmakers Return to Crowded Agenda

Lawmakers return to Washington this week facing a full agenda and just a few short weeks to complete it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made little progress on winning over his party’s holdouts as he negotiates revisions to the health-care bill he proposed last month that combines tax cuts with deep reductions in health spending...
July 11, 2017

McCain and McConnell

Lawmakers return to Washington this week facing a full agenda and just a few short weeks to complete it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made little progress on winning over his party’s holdouts as he negotiates revisions to the health-care bill he proposed last month that combines tax cuts with deep reductions in health spending. Senators have just 14 days in session before the month-long August congressional recess begins.

At least 10 GOP senators have expressed their opposition to the bill, concerned that it eliminates too much of the current law and takes away coverage from too many people. Republican Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Sunday that he thought his party’s health care bill is on course for failure. “My view is it’s probably going to be dead,” said McCain CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said on “Fox News Sunday” that McConnell’s original plan is dead and that what happens with a rewritten version remains to be seen. He put the odds of passing a bill in July at “50-50.”

READ: Senate Bill Fails to Pick Up Support After Week of Recess


McCain said that Republicans should write a new bill and let Democrats offer amendments. “That’s what democracy is supposed to be all about,” he said. McConnell himself, speaking to an audience in his home state of Kentucky on Thursday, called for a bipartisan healthcare plan if the Republican-only bill fails. During the week-long congressional recess, Republican lawmakers who held public appearances got an earful on the GOP’s bill, which polls show has attracted little public support.

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