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Pat Toomey says New Senate GOP healthcare bill is coming tonight. Can this one get to 50 votes?
Here we go again.
When we last saw Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), he was telling us that the GOP didn't ready a bill to replace ObamaCare because they didn't think Trump would win. When he did, they were caught with their pants down. Now, with the most recent attempt seemingly dead in the water, he's promising yet another bill will make its debut tonight. If you're keeping count, this will be the third post-election stab at repealing, or "repealing and replacing," the Affordable Care Act.
Does this one have the necessary support? Toomey tells CNBC's Squawk Box "Maybe."
Sen. Pat Toomey says a new version of the Republican health-care bill is expected on Monday, and he hopes it can appeal to both sides of his party's divide.
"We've got a new version that comes out today. We'll get new scores from CBO. And there's still a shot of getting to 50 [votes]. Mike Pencebreaks the tie," said Toomey, one of 13 senators who worked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to craft the GOP's Obamacarereplacement.
As vice president, Pence would be the tie-breaking vote if the GOP were able to get 50 senators on board. Republicans hold 52 Senate seats. None of the 46 Democrats or two independents who vote in the Democratic caucus is expected to vote for the GOP Senate bill.
What's different this time? Well, we're still not sure yet. According to Toomey, there are things in the latest version designed to appease both hardcore conservatives and squishy moderates. If you think that sounds like something much less than a full repeal, you're not alone.
Toomey said the new version can be embraced by conservatives who want a more aggressive plan to replace Obamacare and moderate Republicans who want a less dramatic overhaul.
"There's an opportunity to do both," the Pennsylvania Republican said. "We're going to get the specifics of a $45 billion commitment for opioid funding."
"There's also a big push to have a change in the regulatory mandates, so that we can have the lower premiums that we're looking for. People can have more control and more choices that will appeal to the conservatives," he said.
So, we wait. No one seems to be entirely sure what this newest bill entails.
However, as Townhall's Guy Benson pointed out over on Twitter, this is a perilous moment for Republicans. To do nothing, after nearly a decade of repeal promises, would be utterly disastrous for the party. If your entire party is centered around the concept of shrinking the federal government, and you've been handed the ability to do exactly that, and then you break that promise, how can you expect your base to ever trust you again?
The bigger question is: "Why be a political party, if the people in the party are unwilling to take action on that party's single most important principle?"