Senate Delays Vote on Health Care Bill

(CN) – Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday abruptly delayed the vote on their health care bill until after the July 4th recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., delivered the message to GOP senators at a private lunch attended by Vice President Mike Pence and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

President Donald Trump has invited all Republican senators to a meeting at the White House scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The decision to delay the vote came after  the GOP saw five defections from its ranks just hours after the Congressional Budget Office said the bill would force 22 million off insurance rolls.

Those defections came both from the conservative wing of the party and its more moderate arm, as some senators worried the bill was not generous enough while others said it kept too much of the Affordable Care Act in place.

It also came just hours after House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed confidence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would hold a successful vote on the bill by the end of the week.

“I would not bet against Mitch McConnell,” Mr. Ryan said. “He is very, very good at getting things done through the Senate, even with this razor-thin majority. I have every expectation that the Senate — I don’t know what day — but I have every expectation the Senate will move this bill.”

The bill rolling back much of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law has been one of the party’s top priorities for years, and the delay is a bruising setback to both Trump and McConnell. – Developing story.

 

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