SaveSave story
Glum House leaders begin search for fallbacks
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

House Republican leaders are beginning to give significant thought to what their exit-for-August bills look like if they don't have healthcare to leave on.

  • What we're hearing: House members are super-anxious about health care, and the pessimism levels are rising about getting a bill from the Senate. As everyone predicted, including Mitch McConnell: the July 4 recess made a bad situation worse.
  • The brutal math: Assuming Vice President Pence as the tie-breaker, Republicans can only lose 2 senators. There are at least 3 "hard" nays (Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Dean Heller of Nevada), and perhaps 5 (add Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas). Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is on the bubble.