Senate Republicans Will Not Vote on Graham-Cassidy, Will Try to Repeal Obamacare After Tax Reform

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as they faced assured defeat on the Graham-Cassidy bill, the GOP's latest attempt to repeal the Obama health care law, at the Capitol in …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced during a press conference on Tuesday that they will not vote on the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill. Republicans will try to repeal Obamacare after they pass a tax reform package.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) derailed an Obamacare repeal last week when he announced that he will oppose the bill. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that they also oppose the bill in its current form.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), two of the bill’s sponsors, suggested that they might try to tie Obamacare repeal to tax reform. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), a member of Senate leadership, argued that Senate Republicans should try to repeal Obamacare after they pass a tax reform package.

Graham said, “We’re on path to pass Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson. It’s a matter of when. Everyone is very enthusiastic.”

The South Carolina senator said that he learned quite a bit about Alaska in an attempt to persuade Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to vote for the Obamacare repeal bill. Graham then argued that, with more time and with a more open process, they can pass the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill. “As for Alaska, I learned a lot about Alaska health care. We learned about their unique needs,” Graham told reporters. “With a process that gives more attention and time, we will repeal and replace Obamacare with a block grant called Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson.”

Sen. Graham added, “What we’re proposing is the end of single-payer health care.”

Graham thanked Republican leadership, President Donald Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence for supporting their renewed efforts to repeal Obamacare.

“To President Trump thank you for engaging, to Vice President Pence, you have moved mountains. Gov. Pence has shown us that with flexibility governors with the right attitude can improve quality.”

Sen. Graham then revealed that Republicans will try to repeal Obamacare after they pass a tax reform package. “We’re coming back to this after taxes. We’ll have time to explain our concept we will have a better process and we will take this show on the road,” Graham said.

Graham charged, “To my Republican colleagues, we’re going to fulfill our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. To the American people we are going to improve health care because at the end of the day that’s the only promise that matters.”


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