The House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare has made a revival as Congress prepares to return from a two-week break next week. But an divide has emerged between the White House and congressional Republican leaders as to its realistic chances of passing.
The White House reportedly wants to get a revised version of the American Health Care Act through the House by April 28 to show progress on one of President Donald Trump’s biggest promises by his 100th day in office.
Senior White House officials said they believe a vote could take place next week and are targeting Wednesday for a vote.
According to Politico’s Adam Cancryn, the White House believes they are “close” to having the votes needed to pass the bill through the House.
House GOP leaders aren’t singing the same tune.
A senior GOP aide told Business Insider that congressional leaders are not sure whether the bill, even with the adjustments, has enough support to get through the House.
“The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House and the answer isn’t clear at this time,” the aide said. “There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on.”
The aide also told Business Insider that a strategy call scheduled for Saturday is typical procedure coming back from a recess.
The new amendment leaked Wednesday is an attempt to bridge the gap between moderate House Republicans in the Tuesday Group and conservative lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus to generate enough votes to pass the bill.
A Freedom Caucus source told Business Insider that 15 to 20 Freedom Caucus members that were against the original AHCA could back the bill if the proposed changes are added, but said members “are cautious until we actually have text.”
However, the concessions — mostly the ability for states to get a waiver to eliminate so-called essential health benefits and the community rating — may drive away moderates in the Republican conference.
Before the original planned AHCA vote, which was scrapped at the last minute, The New York Times estimated 33 Republicans had publicly come out against the bill. Republicans can only afford 21 defections in the House.
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