Senate tax chief says scope for tax cuts still unclear

They are bound by strict requirements that the legislation reduce the deficit to take advantage of a procedure that would allow them to pass the bill with a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the 60 needed to pass most legislation.

Thune hopes that "ideally" the Senate could vote on the health care bill before the Fourth of July recess, or at least by the end of July before Congress leaves for its August recess. "The president is tied in a knot here in Washington, because he insists on going it alone", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

While attention shifts to James Comey's much anticipated testimony today, Senate Republicans are still working to deprive 23 million people of health care coverage.

The Senate may vote on health care legislation by July 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told President Donald Trump Tuesday afternoon at a White House meeting with congressional leaders.

Yet political obstacles remain.

"Unfortunately, the President has, I think, created problems for himself by his Twitter habit", said Cornyn, who will meet with Trump Tuesday, told a local Texas radio station on Monday.

"We've had plenty of time to discuss this issue". Commissioner of Higher Education Joe Rallo and other college leaders buttonholed legislators in the House, asking them not to remove the money senators added for colleges. "It's a heavy lift". The Senate's effort to repeal Obamacare is over.

Another major insurer, Anthem, said Tuesday it is pulling out of Ohio's exchange, leaving 20 of Ohio's 88 counties without an option next year. "We should act within our constitutional authority now to temporarily and legally fund Cost Sharing Reduction payments as we move away from Obamacare and toward a patient-centered system that truly works for the American people".

Anthem sells individual policies in 13 other states, so its withdrawal could be an ominous bellwether for the markets heading into 2018.

"We had a good, productive meeting with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and congressional leadership", McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a joint statement after the meeting.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., in fact said last week that a vote on ObamaCare by the end of the year was "unlikely".

Senators say they also face pressure to move forward as several insurers have pulled out of the ACA marketplaces for next year - most recently in OH, where Anthem's decision to withdraw from the Obamacare exchange likely leaves 20 counties without an insurance provider selling plans for 2018. And, as of this morning, it looks as if the Medicaid rollback could be rolled back too. How and whether to unwind states' Medicaid expansion presents the biggest hurdle, as a number of Republican senators in states that expanded coverage are deeply opposed to throwing people off healthcare.

For New Jersey taxpayers, the bill would raise costs by $810 million to cover the 560,000 residents now receiving health care under the Medicaid expansion that the GOP bill would repeal. Yet those aspects can be fixed without harming the integrity of the whole bill.

But Republicans are staring down a legislative calendar with little to show for their hold on the House, Senate and White House.

Democrats said the entire GOP effort is doomed to fail on its merits. Ron Wyden, referring to his Republican colleagues from Texas and ME, respectively.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, one of the co-authors of the forthcoming bill, was a bit more candid about the mood of Republicans.

Some Republicans, including Sen.

Lawmakers will deal with those issues and more as Congress comes back into session, and realistically the window for action is closing fast. "That's why we're going to keep the pressure on and do everything we can to bring their closed-door, all-male negotiations out into the open so families know just how bad this legislation would be for their health and financial security".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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