(The Washington Post) The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapsing, even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.
With Senate GOP leaders just one “no” vote away from defeat, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a TV interview that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for the bill written by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said he and a colleague were not ready to back the measure. And Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has come out against it, showed no signs of backing down in his own TV appearance.
As Graham and Cassidy pledged to keep trying to pass their bill, the White House and the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave differing accounts of the path ahead. White House legislative affairs director Marc Short predicted a Wednesday vote while a McConnell spokesman declined to publicly embrace that timeline.
The fresh discord over a signature Republican promise added turbulence to the start of a critical week for President Trump and McConnell (R-Ky.). In addition to health care, they are both watching Tuesday’s special election primary runoff in Alabama, a high-stakes intra-party fight that could set the tone for the midterm elections. GOP leaders are also expected to unveil their most detailed blueprint yet of the tax reform plan they hope to pass by the end of the year.