WASHINGTON- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the upper chamber will not hold a vote on Graham-Cassidy, the latest Republican effort to effectively repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“We are not going to be able to do that this week,” McConnell said during a news conference.
While the decision marks his party’s latest failure to pass legislation repealing Obamacare, the Majority Leader said that the Senate will still not give up.
For now, McConnell said the Senate will pivot to consideration of tax reform legislation.
On Monday evening, Graham-Cassidy was dealt a devastating blow following Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins’ announcement that she would not support the legislation.
Collins made the announcement following the release of a preliminary Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that estimated the legislation would strip millions of their health insurance.
GOP Senators John McCain (Ariz.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) previously voiced their opposition to the bill prior to Collins’ announcement.
Republicans could only afford to lose two votes given that the upper chamber’s 46 Democrats and two independent members unanimously oppose repealing Obamacare.
Republicans had hoped to pass the bill before Sep. 30 to take advantage of budget reconciliation authority.
Reconciliation lowers the threshold for breaking a filibuster and would effectively allow for the legislation to pass with a simple majority as opposed to sixty votes.
Should repeal efforts extend beyond September reconciliation instructions would have to be included in the FY 2018 budget resolution.