Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Tuesday said he backs a new Obamacare overhaul bill being pushed by a quartet of Republican senators.
"If it comes to the floor, I intend to vote for it," Cotton said during a meeting with the Washington Examiner in his Senate office, after being asked his position on the bill being championed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, and Ron Johnson.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal Obamacare's individual and employer mandates and take the money currently being spent on Obamacare's exchanges and Medicaid expansion and redistribute it in the form of block grants to states.
"I believe it would be a vast improvement on Obamacare," Cotton said. "My governor, Asa Hutchinson, says he supports it as well. I think it's usually a good thing when we can give more power, autonomy and flexibility back to our state governments. I have faith that our governor and our state legislature will make the right decision, whether that's now or 10 years from now. We're having ongoing discussions about whether we can find the votes for that legislation, but it's going to be better than Obamacare, I know that much."
Republicans are racing against a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the bill, or else reconciliation instructions will expire and they won't be able to pass anything with a simple majority of 51 votes. The rushed process has triggered criticism, especially because the Congressional Budget Office will only be able to partially score the bill before any vote.
"I regret that we're up against a deadline here and we're moving fast toward it," he said. "But we've put hundreds of hours into these negotiations and deliberations going back to the spring."