Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Graham-Cassidy bill is dead, and the Senate's focus is now on tax reform. Photo: Ron Sachs / MediaPunch via IPx
Senate GOP leaders announced Tuesday that they will not hold a vote on the Graham-Cassidy health bill before the Saturday deadline, with Sen. Bill Cassidy conceding, "we don't have the votes." Mitch McConnell said the Senate will now focus its energy on "our next priority," tax reform, and added that they will return to health care once that's dealt with.
Go Deeper: What the Dems are saying
Next steps: McConnell said the Senate Budget committee will mark up the FY18 budget next week, which will set up the tax overhaul process.
Key quotes from the Senate GOP's briefing:
- "We haven't given up on changing the American health care system. We're [just] not going to be able to do that this week."
- "With a process that gives more attention and time, we will repeal and replace Obamacare with a block grant to pass Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson... It's a matter of if, not when."
- "The leadership team has done everything we've asked them... anyone out there who thinks Mitch has not done all he could, I don't know what you're talking about."
- "We don't have the votes. We made the decision that because we don't have the votes, we will postpone the vote."
- "I think we ought to leave the health care debate for a different track." Added that he wants the FY2018 budget reconciliation instructions to focus on taxes, not health care.