Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy said a last-dash effort to repeal Obamacare isn't meant to be partisan and that he is reaching out to Democrats.
But the bill, also co-sponsored by Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., Ron Johnson, R-Wis. and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., doesn't have any Democratic cosponsors. The bill gives states federal health funding in the form of block grants. The senators hope to release it on Wednesday.
"We're not trying to be partisan," the Louisiana Republican said during a Wednesday hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Obamacare market stabilization. "We are actually trying to be bipartisan by allowing a blue state and a deep red state come up with a solution that works best for their folks."
Cassidy said he has reached out to 10 Democratic senators for their suppport.
He has said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to hold a vote on the bill if it can muster 50 votes, with Vice President Mike Pence representing the tie-breaking vote.
However, key conservatives such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have blasted the bill. Paul told Politico that he was upset that the bill keeps Obamacare's taxes and regulations.
Cassidy and his cosponsors also are facing a major time crunch. The Senate has until the end of the month to pass an Obamacare bill under reconciliation, which lets a bill get passed with only 51 votes.
Cassidy hopes to receive a score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in the next two to three weeks.