Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday said he still isn’t on board with the latest GOP bill that would repeal and replace ObamaCare, marking another Republican lawmaker opposed to the legislation.
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“Right now they don't have my vote, and I don't think they have [Sen.] Mike Lee's [R-Utah] either,” Cruz, a Texas Republican, said at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. “Now, I want to be a ‘yes,’ I want to get there because ObamaCare is a disaster.”
Cruz said he and Lee both met with the authors of the bill—Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., last week to discuss changes they wanted to see in the law, including lifting federal regulations on health care.
“Last week they took our edit, we said ‘if you take these edits, we're a yes.’ They took our edits and then a day later they removed our edits,” he said.
Cruz’s comments come at a time when the GOP cannot afford to lose support for the Graham-Cassidy bill. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he opposes the plan, and on Saturday Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he also stands against the latest push for healthcare reform.
“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats.”
Also on Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins—a moderate Republican from Maine—told CNN that she would have trouble voting for the latest repeal effort.
“It’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” she said.
With McCain and Paul both against the GOP proposal, Collins’ vote is vital to passing the legislation in the Senate. Under reconciliation rules, Republicans can pass the health care bill with a 51-vote majority. However, after Sept. 30, they would need 60 votes, which would require help from Democrats.