Now that the House has passed a bill to repeal and replace the healthcare law known as Obamacare, Republican senators will begin putting their stamp on the legislation as early as this week.
Senate Republicans told the Washington Examiner they would not take up the House-passed bill, but would instead draft their own legislation, incorporating elements of the House bill.
"The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation," Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said.
A working group comprising a dozen Republican lawmakers from three key committees will draft the legislation, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.
Cornyn said there was no set deadline to complete a bill.
"We are just working toward getting 51 votes," Cornyn said, adding that consideration would be "timely."
The last time the Senate drafted healthcare legislation, it took the better part of a year to pass it.
The Democratic majority spent most of 2009 drafting the Obamacare bill. They held extensive hearings and negotiating sessions on the legislation, which were followed by a nearly month-long floor debate before passing a bill on Christmas Eve.
Not a single Republican voted for the bill. This time, it will be Democrats who oppose the legislation.
"No matter what the consequences, I will not vote for this craven bill," Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted moments before the House passed its repeal-and-replace measure.
Even more worrisome for the GOP is that the House bill faces considerable skepticism from Republican senators, which could make it difficult to include House provisions in the Senate bill.
Republicans control 53 votes, counting Vice President Mike Pence as an as-needed tie breaker. They can afford to lose only two votes in order to pass a bill using a budgetary tool requiring just a simple majority rather than the typical 60 votes.
But they could have trouble reaching the lower threshold.
Republican senators quickly threw cold water on the House bill before it even passed on Thursday, pointing out the final measure does not even have an official price tag yet.
"I will admit, I'm concerned with the process." Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Twitter. "A bill — finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate — should be viewed with caution."
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the House bill would have "zero" chance of passing the Senate without changes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered few clues about what the Senate will take up.
"As Congress considers this legislation, the administration will continue working to deliver relief and stabilize health markets, and Congress will continue to act on legislation to provide more choices and freedom in healthcare decisions," McConnell said after the House passed its bill.