Mr. McConnell is obliged by procedural rules to introduce the bill that passed the House for the motion to proceed to debate. By our deadline Monday, he had not announced what he would offer as the first amendment on the Senate floor. Some Republicans want him to offer his latest draft, and he probably will if he thinks he may have the votes to pass it. The bill would then have to endure an amendment free-for-all, with Democrats and perhaps some Republicans seeking to amend it in ways that might kill it. But at least we’d get a debate, and voters could see which Senators have which priorities.
Mr. McConnell’s other option would be to offer the December 2015 bill that repealed ObamaCare with a two-year delay to find time to replace. Fifty-one of the 52 current GOP Senators voted for that repeal bill that Barack Obama vetoed. (Maine’s Susan Collins was the exception.)
The only difference now is that President Trump will sign the bill. This would keep a core promise to GOP voters over four elections and seven years. Opposing this same bill now would expose Senators who campaigned for repeal only when they thought it had no chance to happen. The vote would stick with them for the rest of their careers.