WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing defeat on his “Obamacare” replacement, says he will push the Senate to pass a clean repeal bill.
The Republican leader made the announcement in a statement that came a few hours after two Republican senators dealt a fatal blow to the replacement bill unveiled last Thursday. Sens. Jerry Moran and Mike Lee joined two other senators in opposing the legislation, meaning McConnell lacked the votes to move ahead.
The Kentucky Republican says, “regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.”
Earlier in the evening, President Donald Trump says Republicans should just repeal the nation’s current health care law and work on a new plan that starts from a “clean slate.”
Trump tweeted his message Monday night after two more GOP senators announced their opposition to legislation he backs. The defections left Republicans short of the votes they need to pass the measure.
Trump says that if Republicans start fresh, “Dems will join in!”
McConnell says that in the coming days, the Senate will consider the House-passed bill, with the first order of business a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay.
He is not saying when the vote will occur.