President Trump is expected to meet with Republican senators Monday night for dinner to urge them to support the healthcare bill aimed at repealing and replacing portions of Obamacare.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the meeting during Monday's press briefing, but he did not say which senators would be at the meeting. Republicans have failed to reach a consensus on the details of legislation, with conservatives worried about the cost of premiums and centrists concerned about projected cuts to Medicaid and uninsurance rates.
Republicans face a narrow margin to pass their healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, because they have only a 52-seat majority in the upper chamber and are advancing the bill through reconciliation, which requires a simple majority vote instead of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have said they will not vote to move forward on debating the healthcare bill. Though no other senators have come out publicly against the bill, Collins said half a dozen other senators have reservations. Some Republicans have said that they are waiting for a score from the Congressional Budget Office, which will project how much the legislation would cost and how many people could become uninsured if it were to become law, before they state their position.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Saturday that the vote on the healthcare bill, which had been expected this week, would be delayed after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he would be spending a week in Arizona to recover from surgery in which a blood clot was removed above his left eye.
Trump reiterated his support for the healthcare bill Monday, shortly after the briefing, during a "Made in America" speech at the White House. He said he hoped McCain would get better soon.
"We miss him," he said. "He's a crusty voice in Washington. Plus we need that vote."