Trump plea for unity on showdown healthcare vote

27 July 2017, 12:42 | Isaac Mcdaniel

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The Republican leadership expects McCain to vote "yes" Tuesday.

The latest Republican plan is a bid to dismantle the 2010 Affordable Care Act pushed by Trump's predecessor, but delay the actual implementation of the repeal to allow time for a viable replacement to be crafted.

President Donald Trump has pushed for Republicans to make forward movement on repealing and replacing Obamacare, writing on Twitter Tuesday he has "pen in hand" if repeal-only or repeal and replace legislation heads to his desk. On Monday, clearing that initial hurdle was far from certain.

In a West Virginia speech before the National Boy Scout Jamboree, Trump sought to pressure Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. She has been an expected no for weeks also. "Some of the people that are opposed to this - there are some female senators from the Northeast - if it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style".

He also praised McCain, calling him a "very courageous man".

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Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Collins said of the Senate's vote, "This seems to be a moving target and I don't know what we're proceeding to vote on". It remained unclear on Monday whether Mr. McCain would be able to return to the Senate in the near future. John McCain, R-Arizona, is still from brain surgery and likely unable to vote, that means the GOP senators can only lose one vote otherwise the legislation collapses.

McConnell is expected to move a procedural motion to open debate on the health care bill passed by the House in May on July 25.

"I have a feeling if there's any way he can be back he'll be here, whether or not his doctors like it, knowing John", Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who said of McCain on CNN last week that, "When you travel with John McCain, you get up early and you work until late at night because that's who he is".

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is among the leading opponents of the GOP replacement plan, saying proposed reductions in Medicaid spending would harm her constituents. "I like people that weren't captured, OK?"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear that a Senate vote will take place in the coming days, even though it remains unclear whether Republicans will be voting on a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare or merely to do away with it. Multiple Republican senators have raised objections to each health care proposal that has been offered, leaving McConnell and Trump in a very hard spot.

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