Senate Braces for Health Showdown With McCain on Hand but a Plan Unclear – New York Times
The remarks from Mr. Trump, who has been largely absent from the policy debate, had the ring of a threat by a president who has grown frustrated watching Republicans repeatedly try, and fail, to reach consensus on his campaign promise to immediately roll back the health law and enact a better system.
He said their constituents would exact a price for inaction — “you’ll see that at the voter booth, believe me” — and hinted that any Republican who did not support the bid to open debate on an as-yet-determined health bill would be painted as complicit in preserving a health law passed on the basis of “a big, fat, ugly lie.”
“For Senate Republicans, this is their chance to keep their promise,” Mr. Trump said, repeating the “repeal and replace” mantra on which Republicans campaigned last fall. “There’s been enough talk and no action; now is the time for action.”
After months of planning, debating and legislating, much of it behind closed doors, the Senate this week has reached the moment when votes will have to be cast. The big question Monday was what exactly the Senate will be voting on.
The fight on the Senate floor will unfold in stages.
First, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said he would move ahead with a procedural vote on Tuesday to take up the health bill that narrowly passed the House in May. He urged his colleagues to do so.
“Many of us have waited literally years for this moment to finally arrive, and at long last, it has,” Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor.
If that vote succeeds, the Senate would then be able to consider numerous amendments, including complete substitutes for the House bill. But it remains unclear what would take its place, and Senate Republican leaders have not said which substitute measure would be considered first.