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“Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) said that the Senate probably won’t reach a deal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act when it returns from a recess next week, in a stark assessment of the party’s health-care prospects.
“It’s unlikely that we will get a health-care deal,” Mr. Burr told WXII 12 News, a North Carolina news station, on Thursday. He said that the House-passed GOP health plan was “dead on arrival,” and that “I don’t see a comprehensive health-care plan this year.”
The unusually blunt assessment puts a fine point on the difficult path ahead in the Senate, where Republicans control 52 seats and need at least 50 Republicans, plus a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence, in order to pass their own health plan. At least three conservative Republicans are opposed to the health plan priorities of at least three moderate Republicans, making the pathway for passing a bill very tricky. “I don’t know how we get to 50 at the moment,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told Reuters last week.
Republicans could disappoint activists in their base as well as President Donald Trump, who also pledged to repeal the law, by stopping short of fulfilling a promise that has been years in the making. Mr. Trump’s impatience with the Senate has spilled out into the open. “The president in general finds it frustrating … how the Senate operates,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said earlier this week.”