The Senate GOP held off on a vote on President Donald Trump’s health care bill Friday, as lawmakers struggled to find common ground on an issue that many Republicans consider their most pressing and dangerous.
Senators voted to advance a health care measure that would dismantle ObamaCare’s taxes, regulations and Medicaid expansion without changing how the federal government pays for the program.
But they also voted to delay the implementation of the bill, allowing it to run its course in the Senate and avoid a potentially damaging vote in the House.
The vote was 48-41 in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., the bill’s main author, has said the measure would cut federal deficits by $119 billion over a decade, but he said that’s not enough to make it work.
He said Republicans will need to reduce taxes, but not raise them, in order to pass the measure.
“It’s not going to pass,” Rounds said.
“We’ve got to be more creative in how we do it.”
Sen. Susan Collins, R/Alaska, a moderate Republican and a key swing vote, said she believed Republicans would not pass the bill without Democrats on board.
“We need a deal on health care,” she said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R