McConnell: Revised Health Care Bill Coming Thursday; August Recess Delayed

Susan Jones | July 12, 2017 | 8:13am EDT
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that the Senate will forego part of its scheduled summer recess and be in session for the first two weeks of August to address issues including health care, the debt ceiling and confirmation process for administration nominees. He made the announcement on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( – “We’ll be laying out a revised version of the repeal and replace effort, the text of that, on Thursday morning,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a news conference on Tuesday.

“We hope to have a CBO score by the beginning of the week and a motion to proceed to that bill next week.”

McConnell also said the Senate’s August recess will be delayed by two weeks, “due to this unprecedented level of obstruction” by Democrats:

As of June 28th, there were 178 presidential nominations up here and only 46 confirmed. We're getting zero cooperation on the personnel part of the Senate portfolio, which is confirming nominations.

Therefore, we will be in session the first two weeks of August that we had originally anticipated not being here. We will be here.

We've got defense authorization, we've got the debt ceiling, we've got the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) user fee and other important legislation that we need to address and we simply, as a result of all this obstructionism, don't have enough time to address all of these issues between now and the originally anticipated August recess. So we'll be here the first two weeks of August.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) invited Democrats to join Republicans in producing a health care bill.

“Under the budget process, they have an opportunity to offer amendments to the plan with no restriction. So we would invite them to participate in the process to come up with a better product than the failure of Obamacare, much less bailing out insurance companies by throwing billions of dollars at them, trying to prop up a failed experiment,” Cornyn said.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said the Republican goals are to “stabilize the insurance markets; liberate people from mandates that force them to buy insurance that they don't want and can't afford; improve affordability so that people can afford to have health insurance coverage in this country; preserve access for people who have preexisting conditions to -- to health care insurance; and then, finally, to strengthen Medicare for the people who really need it and making sure that we don't pull the rug out from under those people who really do need it, and make it sustainable for future generations.”

Most of the reporters’ questions to McConnell involved Donald Trump Jr.’s willingness to meet with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

McConnell refused to say if he has personal concerns about the meeting, saying only that he has “a lot of confidence” in the Senate intelligence committee that is handling the investigation.

“Well, I'm sure that Senator Burr and Senator Warner and their committee will take a look at all aspects of the Russia investigation,” McConnell said.

“I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of whatever may have happened,” he added.

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