National news outlets are reporting that President Trump invited a group of senators to the White House tonight, to convince them to support the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
But at about 8:30 p.m. Monday, two additional senators, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah, said they would not even vote to begin debate on the legislation. Two other senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, had already said they could not support the bill, and without Democratic support, GOP leaders could only lose two votes and still pass the bill.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who would have cast a key vote, “didn’t receive an invite” to the meeting with Trump, according to spokeswoman Ashley Berrang.
Berrang said, via email, that Capito’s absence at the meeting doesn’t indicate a position and referred to last week’s statement.
Berrang said Capito “intends to review the CBO score when it is released, and that has not happened.”
Compared to the previous version, the bill makes similarly deep cuts to Medicaid. Capito has said the previous version cut that program “too deeply.”
It adds $45 billion to combat the opioid crisis. Capito has said she advocated for that funding, but health policy experts have said it won’t be enough to make up for other detrimental provisions of the bill.
Politico reports: “Aides to key swing-vote Republicans including Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said they were not attending.”
From the Hill: “a White House official said the following GOP senators were attending: No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn (Texas), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Steve Daines (Mont.), James Lankford (Okla.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), and John Thune (S.D.).”