POLITICS
07/02/2017 11:53 am ET

White House Says Health Care Vote Is Close; Rand Paul Says Not So Much

“We’re at an impasse," according to one of the bill's leading conservative critics.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill last month after Senate Republican leaders unveiled their version
Joshua Roberts / Reuters
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill last month after Senate Republican leaders unveiled their version of legislation to replace Obamacare.

As a White House official insisted Sunday that the Senate is on the verge of passing a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, a key opponent of the bill said exactly the opposite.

“We’re getting close,” White House Director for Legislative Affairs Marc Short said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We hope that [when senators] come back the week after [their July 4th] recess, we’ll have a vote.”

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the main conservative critics of the bill as currently written, suggested on the same show the legislation should be junked and process of writing it begun anew.

“I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with the bill we have,” Paul said. “We’re at an impasse.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote until after the recess, saying he and his leadership team are “still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place” to vote for the bill.

Paul argued that the Senate should pass two bills ― one to repeal the Affordable Care Act that President Barack Obama shepherded through Congress, and another to replace it with the GOP’s alternative.  

Paul said the current bill “has become the kitchen sink,” and is “lit up like a Christmas tree full of billion-dollar ornaments.”

Paul did say that he hopes the Senate can get health care legislation passed before Congress takes its August recess. 

CONVERSATIONS