Senate Voting on Health Bill This Week—but Which One?
Sen. John Thune says a bill will be up for a mostly procedural vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 24, 2017 3:33 AM CDT
Updated Jul 24, 2017 4:33 AM CDT
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In this July 18, 2017 photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.    (Andrew Harnik)
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(Newser) – The Senate will move forward with a key vote this week on a Republican health bill—but it's not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace ObamaCare or simply repeal it, the third-highest ranking Republican senator said Sunday. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will make a decision soon on which bill to bring up for a vote, depending on ongoing discussions with GOP senators, the AP reports. Thune sought to cast this week's initial vote as important but mostly procedural, allowing senators to begin debate and propose amendments. But he acknowledged that senators should be able to know beforehand what bill they will be considering.

President Trump has said he wants Congress to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but would accept a straight-repeal of the law if senators couldn't reach agreement. In a sign of the high stakes involved, Trump exhorted senators anew Sunday night to pass health legislation. "If Republicans don't Repeal and Replace the disastrous ObamaCare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!" Trump tweeted. At least two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Rand Paul, Sunday appeared to reaffirm their intention to vote against the procedural motion if it involved the latest version of the GOP's repeal-and-replace bill. "We don't know whether we're going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill, or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act," Collins said. "I don't think that's a good approach to replacing legislation that affects millions of people."

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