After the AHCA passed the House Thursday, all eyes turned to the Senate – and a number of Republican senators quickly made it known that the Senate will not be acting quickly on healthcare.
In fact, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Senate won’t be acting on the same bill that passed the House.
“We are going to draft a Senate bill. That is what I’ve been told.”
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters there is a “working group” of 12 senators who met Thursday morning in Mitch McConnell’s office for the second time, who will come up with the Senate bill. Cornyn is a member of the group.
“What we have to do is build a consensus among our conference and that is what the working group is designed to do….To get to a compromise we can agree to and then present it to the larger conference.”
The group is headed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who confirmed that there will be a Senate bill but wouldn’t commit to any timelines or specifics.
“The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation.
“I can’t imagine there will be a rush to take up the bill as much as a real concentrated effort to find where the 51 votes might be if the 51 votes are still available.”
Senators will want to improve the bill, Sen. Bob Corker said.
“There is a working group over here of Republicans with, you know, with a range of ideology that are working to see where we go with the bill when it comes across, said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, in an interview on MSNBC. “And I think you’re going to see very responsible, deliberate action on it. People are going to want to improve it. I don’t see anyway he comes back in the form it comes. It’s not because I have any specific criticism of it.”
The Washington Examiner reported that the working group is comprised of senators who are members of the Finance, Budget, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel, but at this time the only senators we can confirm as members are Sens. Cornyn and Blunt.