McConnell Says Republicans Are Giving Up on Health Bill

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From left, Senators Lindsey Graham, John Barrasso, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn spoke after Republican leadership met on Tuesday. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially pulled the plug on the latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, telling senators they will not vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in the last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Trump and Republican lawmakers.

Mr. McConnell’s announcement came less than 24 hours after a pivotal Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, declared firm opposition to the repeal proposal, all but ensuring that Republican leaders would be short of the votes they needed.

Senate Republicans already tried once this year to approve repeal legislation, an exercise that ended in defeat when Senator John McCain of Arizona gave a thumbs-down in July to kill that repeal proposal.

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Thirteen lawmakers from 12 states have opposed at least one of the Senate’s five major repeal efforts in recent months.

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This time, Mr. McConnell, the majority leader, and his fellow Republicans were trying to make one more attempt at passing a bill, and a deadline was fast approaching: They have only until the end of this week to pass a repeal bill using special budget rules that shield it from a Democratic filibuster.

Mr. McConnell could afford to lose only two of his members. But when he conceded defeat on Tuesday, three members of his conference had already publicly declared their opposition: Ms. Collins, Mr. McCain and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

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Source: New York Times

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