In the days since House Republicans passed legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, skeptical GOP senators have made clear that they intend to write their own bill instead of taking up the one passed on the other side of Capitol Hill.
Monday morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he has no issue with that process.
“They are their own legislative body. I have no problems if they write their own bill. If it took the House passing a bill to get them moving on a bill, I thank them for that,” McCarthy said on Fox Business network’s “Mornings with Maria.” He added that House Republicans have already been in touch with some of their Senate counterparts.
While the administration of President Donald Trump and House Republicans celebrated last week’s healthcare vote as a legislative victory, repeal-and-replace still faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where multiple prominent GOP members have expressed skepticism towards last week’s bill. A working group of Senate Republicans is already working on crafting the chamber’s own bill to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation and there is no guarantee that the compromises struck in the House version will be written into the Senate’s.
But McCarthy seemed unconcerned by the notion that a bill crafted by the Senate might prove unworkable in the House, where the repeal-and-replace legislation passed by just two votes despite a significant Republican majority. The House majority leader did express hope that the Senate will move quickly on its legislation.
“So that’s the way the system is set up. We move legislation. They move legislation. Any difference, we’ll go to conference and then send it to the president,” McCarthy said. “But I think the timing’s important, that — they need to start working but they have been working. We’ve worked with a number of senators, I know [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] has set up the working group well ahead of time, I think this just adds a little added pressure to them that they have to act.”