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Senate GOP isn't backing down from health care vote

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Republican leaders appear ready to go ahead with tomorrow's procedural vote on the health care bill, even though they don't have the votes right now to even start debate on the bill.

  • The vote to take up the bill would happen "tomorrow sometime," Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters this afternoon. He didn't leave any room for the possibility that the leadership might cancel the vote if they think it's going to fail.
  • Why it matters: There are at least five Republicans who may be ready to vote against the motion, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two. If he (or President Trump) can't get them back into the fold, tomorrow's vote could end the Senate's Affordable Care Act repeal effort.
  • Between the lines: That wouldn't necessarily be the worst outcome for McConnell. As much as Republicans want to get rid of the health care law, McConnell's allies have been saying for weeks that he's ready to just put senators on the record and move on to tax reform. He doesn't think a delay in the vote will make it more likely to pass.