Fact check: Mostly true. Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare since the moment it was passed seven years ago, and kept insisting that voters needed to give them full control of Washington DC. Now that they have it, Republicans have to deliver, and Donald Trump took to his favorite platform while in France to remind them of it:
One could read that as either support for the current version of the BCRA, or perhaps a more generic statement that Trump would support any action, as long as it passes. He’s offered support for a straight repeal too if it has to come down to that, even though Trump repeatedly insisted that he’d make sure that there would be an immediate replacement that would be sooo good. Right now, almost anything looks better than failure. Since the only vehicle available and with any chance of getting 50 votes under reconciliation is the BCRA, so one can assume that Trump’s telling McConnell’s troops to start marching in the same direction.
RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel was more specific in urging passage of the BCRA. Speaking to WMAL’s “Morning on the Mall,” McDaniel echoed Trump in reminding Senate Republicans that voters would get “very upset” if they didn’t pass the bill:
“I think our voters are going to be very upset. I mean they put their faith in us last November and there’s not a single senator in Washington on the Republican side who did not run saying we needed to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and now is their chance; they have this opportunity,” Romney McDaniel said Friday on WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall.”
“If we can’t find compromise within our own party, then voters are going to make us accountable.”
So far, it’s tough to say whether McConnell has enough support to get to 50 votes. ABC News reported that the bill was “teetering on the edge of collapse,” as both Susan Collins and Rand Paul insisted they would vote against a motion to proceed tentatively scheduled for next week. That prompted Majority Whip John Cornyn to rebut the report:
Making good progress https://t.co/lzlKaEg1i1
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) July 14, 2017
We’ll see, but the lack of any more public defections might be a good sign. A few, like Rob Portman and Dean Heller, said they need to read through the bill this weekend to decide, but there won’t be any big surprises. The most significant change was the modified Lee-Cruz plan, and that had been on the table for a while. If there was a reason to keep them from even allowing debate to start — after which they can offer amendments to address their priorities — one would think we’d have heard “no” already from the “not sures.”
That doesn’t answer the question of whether it should pass. Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute explains the good, the bad, and the ugly in an interview from earlier today. It’s problematic, and it leaves in place too much of ObamaCare, but … it might be the best this group of 52 can do as a consensus. Or can’t do. We’ll see.
Update: Made a small edit to undo a redundancy.