U.S. Senate to vote next week on Obamacare repeal

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-19 16:30:19|Editor: ying
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WASHINGTON, July 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate will vote on a Republican plan to repeal the Obamacare without an immediate replacement early next week.

"At the request of the President and the Vice President and after consulting with our members, we will have the vote on the motion to proceed to the Obamacare repeal bill early next week," McConnell announced on the Senate floor.

McConnell announced a repeal-only proposal late Monday night after conceding failure in the Republican efforts to repeal and immediately replace Obamacare, former President Barack Obama's signature legislation, with the GOP health care plan.

Within a day of his announcement, three Republican senators said they would oppose bringing the bill to the floor.

Republicans control a 52-48 majority in the 100-seat Senate. Under budget reconciliation rules, at least 50 votes are needed to pass a plan, with Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie.

Three defections would leave McConnell's new plan dead even before it comes to a vote, were there a unanimous opposition from Democrats and independents.

Earlier on Tuesday, McConnell admitted that the Republican leadership does not have "50 senators who can agree on what ought to replace the existing law."

The GOP's efforts to bring in the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a GOP bill designed to overhaul the Obamacare, has been stalled multiple times in past weeks.

Republicans remain divided amid unsolved concerns of rising costs and fewer insurers once the BCRA is enacted, while Democrats argue the GOP bill would cut coverage for tens of millions of people.