Republicans seem to have accepted yet another defeat in their attempts to repeal Obamacare.
CNN reported on Monday that conservatives on Capitol Hill seemed resigned.
Three Republican senators – John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rand Paul of Kentucky – all indicated they weren’t likely to support the latest measure, which was authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
Even President Donald Trump, who made repealing the Affordable Care Act one of the central tenets of his campaign, didn’t seem enthused about future prospects.
“When you lose two, you’re out. We don’t have much of a margin,” Trump said. “We don’t have any margin.”
The commander-in-chief has repeatedly cast the blame upon Republican defectors, with his ire being particularly focused on Sen. John McCain.
On Monday night, the president shot off a livid Tweet, calling McCain out by name.
A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O'Care. My oh my has he changed-complete turn from years of talk! pic.twitter.com/t9cXG2Io86
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
“A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing and Replacing O’Care. My oh my has he changed-complete turn [sic] from years of talk!” Trump tweeted, attaching a compilation of McCain’s past comments on Obamacare.
Despite the president’s cynicism and sarcastic comments from some senators, not every Republican is ready to give up the fight.
Predictably, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he thought conservatives needed to continue pushing for a repeal.
“We must keep working and we can get to yes,” Cruz told CNN.
When asked what might happen if the Senate was unable to foot a feasible bill before the September 30th deadline, Cruz simply repeated himself.
“We should keep working until we get to yes,” he said.
One proposal being considered by Sens. Graham and Ron Johnson (R-WI) is tacking on healthcare reform to tax reform instructions for the 2018 fiscal budget.
The idea, according to CNN, is one which has caused some concern among more moderate Republicans.
“Hate Obamacare, but let’s not strangle tax reform in its crib just out of frustration,” one GOP lobbyist wrote to CNN.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while praising the Graham-Cassidy bill, did not comment further on healthcare reform.
“I think we are going to have to have a meeting of our conference tomorrow at noon so we can sort of see where everyone is on this before there will be any news,” said Sen. John Cornyn, McConnell’s top deputy.
The entire debacle puts McConnell in a peculiar and unpleasant situation – in the aftermath of repeal-and-replace’s July failure, the Republican said it was time to “move on.”