Senate GOP leaders had hoped to move a House-passed package repealing parts of the controversial healthcare reform law before Thanksgiving. But that plan has been shelved amid party turmoil.
Senate Republican sources say the measure, which has encountered opposition from conservatives and moderates, albeit for different reasons, will have to wait until after Thanksgiving. Some say it could slide into next year.
“We have not scheduled that yet,” a Senate GOP leadership aide said Friday. “We don’t have a bill yet. You’re always short the votes until you have a bill.”
Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters last month “the week or so before Thanksgiving looks like a good opportunity” to move the ObamaCare repeal package.
Now some aides say it may be best to wait until next year or even 2017 to pass as strong a package as possible.
“There could be procedural reasons or vote reasons why we can’t get a bill at all, so it seems the one common denominator amongst everybody is to not mess it up,” said a Senate GOP aide.
Even if GOP leaders can whip up enough votes to approve the House-passed measure, that would repeal only parts of ObamaCare. Some conservatives argue that such an approach is too incremental, and would actually set back the effort to eradicate the law “root and branch,” as Republicans have promised.