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Senate Health Bill Clears Key Hurdle. What Now?

Senate Health Bill Clears Key Hurdle. What Now? Read Transcript


The Senate will be loaded with amendments, open to amendments.

Everybody can bring amendments.

It's going to be a zoo, if it isn't already.

It's going to be worse.

Everybody, Democrat, Republican can bring amendments

to the floor, and it will be a delaying tactic,

and it will be wild.

Anyhow, yesterday, they at least passed the resolution

to keep talking.

And that's about all they did.

They had several votes that voted down overwhelmingly

the bill that was on the floor.

They don't like that.

The one that's going to come up apparently

is to replace Obamacare.

But they don't say what to replace it with.

And they're not sure who's going along with it.

But the senator from Alaska is against this thing,

and the senator from Maine is against it,

and it's doubtful they'll have enough votes to get anything

through.

Nevertheless, yesterday was a major step forward,

and we'll see what happens.

I'll tell you, after seven years, seven years of voting

constantly to repeal, year after year,

overwhelmingly the Republicans said we're

going to repeal Obamacare.

Then they've got a president who will sign it into law,

and they say, oh, now we're getting serious.

I'm not sure we want to do it.

Wendy?

Well, the Senate barely passed a measure just

to open debate on a new health care bill.

And Vice President Pence had to pass the tie-breaking vote.

Abigail Robertson brings us the story from Washington.

ABILGAIL ROBERTSON: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

narrowly won the tense battle over formally bringing health

care up for debate on the Senate floor

so that a new health care bill can finally be discussed

and amended.

But the war over actually passing a measure

to repeal and replace Obamacare rages on.

This is just the beginning.

We're not out here to spike the football.

This is a long way.

GOP lawmakers have campaigned for years

on repealing and replacing Obamacare.

And many worry about the consequences

in the 2018 elections if they miss this opportunity.

Senator Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski

voted against letting debate begin on a health care bill.

And that made Senator John McCain's dramatic return

to vote in favor of it after being diagnosed

with an aggressive form of brain cancer,

critical to getting the motion approved.

But McCain was quick to say this doesn't

mean he will vote for the GOP health care bill

as it stands now.

I will not vote for this bill as it is today.

It's a shell of a bill right now.

We all know that.

ABILGAIL ROBERTSON: McCain encouraged his colleagues

on both sides of the aisle to work with one another

and compromise on issues for the good of the American people.

We're getting nothing done, my friends.

We're getting nothing done.

Let's trust each other.

Let's return to regular order.

We've been spinning our wheels on too many important issues

because we keep trying to find a way

to win without help from across the aisle.

ABILGAIL ROBERTSON: McConnell agrees with McCain

that the parties need to come together.

But he says some issues, like health care,

are just more partisan than others.

As of now, it is unclear whether senators

will vote on a bill to just repeal Obamacare or repeal

and replace it.

But they're dedicating this week to having an open amendment

process that lets senators offer their ideas to change the bill.

Leadership hopes that process leads

to a health care bill that has enough GOP support to pass.

We're going to sort this out in a thoroughly open amendment

process in a situation where 51 votes can change the bill.

ABILGAIL ROBERTSON: The president

says he's proud of the efforts of Senate leadership,

and acknowledges health care is very complicated, though he's

optimistic they'll get it done.

I believe now we will over the next week or two

come up with a plan that's going to be really, really wonderful

for the American people.

President Trump says he has his pen in hand

ready to sign an Obamacare repeal and replace bill,

or just plain repeal whenever it hits his desk.

Reporting from Capitol Hill, Abigail Robertson, CBN News.

Well, remember, the big thing they're talking about,

if they repeal, it will be a two-year delay while they get

their act together.

So they're all just--

it's amazing, something that everybody has said we hate.

And now they've got the chance to do something about it,

and they're so, so timid about it.

It's just courage.

What was that book that Kennedy wrote?

"Profiles In Courage," don't you wish they'd do it?

Well, at least they're going to talk.

That's more than we had yesterday, right?

Yeah, yeah.

Well, they'll talk.

There will be plenty of talk.

Everybody can make amendments.

So the Democrats will offer 50 amendments, 70 amendments, 100

amendments, and they'll all have to debate every one of them,

take a vote on every one of them.

You talk about delaying tactics, it's going to be a zoo.

Trust me.

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