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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Paul: ‘I get the sense we’re still at an impasse’ on healthcare

Paul: ‘I get the sense we’re still at an impasse’ on healthcare
By Julia Manchester - 06-29-17 09:15 AM EDT

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Thursday the Senate Republican Conference was not making any progress on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, despite multiple efforts being made by GOP leadership and the White House to unify the group.

"I still sense we're at impasse," Paul told Fox News.

"There is still quite a bit of disagreement. There's basically two factions. There's conservatives like myself who don't want new federal programs, we want to repeal ObamaCare. And then there's some of the moderates who kind of want to keep some of ObamaCare and they're not to opposed to new federal government programs," he said.

Paul's comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) postponed the vote on healthcare until after the July 4 recess.

McConnell and the White House have failed in recent days to bridge the gap between conservatives including Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and moderate Republicans such as Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

Senate GOP leadership has little room for error on passing the bill, which can only afford two Republican defections, assuming no Democrat will vote for a repeal bill. As of Tuesday, nine Senate Republicans said they would vote no on the legislation, according to The Hill's Whip List.

Paul said he proposed a plan to President Trump aimed at trying to appease both of the factions, potentially along with Democrats.

"What about dividing the bill in two? Do the repeal, which no Democrat will vote for. Repeal the taxes, repeal the regulations, and do a fix to Medicaid that helps to pay for everything," Paul said.

"No Democrats will vote for anything good like that. But Democrats will always vote for spending. So the big government Republicans that want more spending, take the spending and put it in the bill that Democrats will vote for," he continued.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has offered to negotiate with Republicans, askingTrump to meet with Democrats and Republicans to reach a bipartisan deal on healthcare.

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