Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican senators he is delaying a vote on the GOP health care bill until after the Fourth of July recess because he does not have the votes to move it to debate, two senior Senate Republican aides told ABC News.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally confirmed the delay, saying, “We’re going to continue the discussions within our conference on the differences that we have.”
Sen. John Thune, R-Neb., stressed that the goal was to still replace Obamacare.
“While the schedule may have slipped a little bit, we are intent on rescuing Americans from a failed systems that has driven up their cost and made it more difficult for them to find coverage,” Thune said.
Earlier today Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told ABC News: “I expect to have the support and get it done … and yes, we will vote this week.”
At least five Republican senators said they had opposed the procedural vote on the GOP health care plan, effectively blocking the bill from reaching the Senate floor.
In order to pass the health care bill through the Senate, Republicans can afford only two defections; in case of a tie, they have the option of calling in Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Before the delay was announced, Republicans senators were invited to the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump.
“The president invited us to come down,” McConnell said at a news conference this afternoon. “The White House has been very much involved in these discussions. They’re very anxious to help, and we appreciate the invitation, and I hope all of our members will head down.”