- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Senate is voting this week on whether or not to open debate on the House’s health care bill, after legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, stalled in the Senate last week.

But several senators on Sunday appeared unclear on exactly which direction the Senate will go this week after they’ve been debating whether or not to repeal Obamacare and replace it later, or to repeal and replace in one push. Not enough Senators have been on board with either plan.

In May the House passed a health care bill, which replaces Obamacare without repealing it in full.

“It’s a vote, a motion to proceed to the bill that passed the House,” said Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“That then comes to the Senate, and then we can vote, once we get on that bill, to amend it in various ways. And lots of members have different ideas on how it should be best amended to replace what is really a failing Obama healthcare plan.”

Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, told “Fox News Sunday” he’s on board with repealing and replacing at the same time.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said she wants to have the health care debate go back into committee, so flaws within the Affordable Care Act can be corrected.

“It’s a good question about what will be happening next week. It appears that we will have a vote on Tuesday, but we don’t know on whether we’re going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act now,” said Ms. Collins on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

But Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, has been a critic of Senate leadership’s push to both repeal and replace.

“I will vote for the motion to proceed if we are proceeding to a clean repeal vote,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

However, Mr. Paul stopped short of saying whether or not any Republican not supporting repeal should face primary challenges.

President Trump has been back and forth on the issue, pushing for repeal and replace, but later suggesting a repeal would be better than nothing at all.

But on Saturday, Mr. Trump was again pushing the Senate to both repeal and replace.

“The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!” the president tweeted on Saturday. “ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction. It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators!”

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