Senate Republicans signaled this week they are prepared to move on from health care to other legislative priorities, though President Trump continues to pressure Congress to try again to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Last week, the Senate failed to pass a straight repeal of Obamacare as well as a bare-bones bill to repeal the ACA’s individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.
As the Senate prepared to adjourn today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) laid out his short-term priorities, which include confirming presidential nominees and getting a tax bill through his chamber. Congress also must pass a budget for 2018 before the end of September and raise the debt ceiling this fall to ensure the government can pay its bills.
“We’ve had our vote [on health care] and we’re moving on to tax reform,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD).
Republican senators have not said much about threats from President Trump over the weekend to stop paying cost-sharing subsidies that help lower expenses for low-income Americans if Congress doesn’t repeal Obamacare. After White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN last weekend that Congress should vote on health care again before taking anything else up, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said, “I don’t think he’s got much experience in the Senate, as I recall. And he’s got a big job. He ought to do that job and let us do our job.”