As of Tuesday afternoon, five Republican senators — enough to block a procedural motion to move forward with the bill — said they would oppose the motion barring changes to the plan. A Congressional Budget Office score on Monday estimated that the proposal would lead to 22 million more uninsured Americans by 2026, only complicating matters for moderate GOP senators on the fence.
After the White House meeting, McConnell told reporters, “either Republicans will agree and change the status quo, or the markets will continue to collapse and we’ll have to sit down with Senator Schumer.” The Senate majority leader said he suspects the Republicans would not be able to get the reforms they want if they have to negotiate with the Democrats.
Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that the Republicans are working hard without support from the other side of the aisle.
Collins said Monday night she would vote “no” on the motion to proceed, tweeting that the Senate bill does not “fix the flaws” of Obamacare. She joined Sen. Dean Heller, a vulnerable Nevada Republican who previously said he would vote against advancing the bill as written due to its rollback of Medicaid expansion.
On the conservative side, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin also said they would not back a motion to proceed this week for the bill as written. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah also said he would oppose the procedural move barring tweaks to the bill, according to The Associated Press.
Those senators and Ted Cruz of Texas were the first to publicly announce opposition to the current bill. They argue that the plan does not go far enough to repeal Obamacare.
After the vote was delayed, three Republican senators — Jerry Moran of Kansas, Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia — announced opposition to the current bill. Portman and Capito were considered swing votes because their states have expanded Medicaid and are hotbeds in the U.S. opioid crisis.
The GOP could still win skeptical senators over with amendments. House Republicans did the same to gather more votes before the chamber narrowly passed its own Obamacare replacement last month. The House GOP had to pull a version of its bill from the floor in March.