House Speaker Paul Ryan predicted Tuesday that it will take the Senate “a month or two” to pass its own legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, the next step in Republicans’ process of making good on a campaign pledge they’ve run on for seven years.
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed its own repeal-and-replace measure last week approving the legislation by just two votes. The bill’s passage was a major victory for Republican leadership in the House and for the administration of President Donald Trump, both of which pushed hard on a version of the legislation that failed to garner enough support in late March as well as on last week’s successful iteration.
But despite the triumphant tone surrounding the bill’s success in the House, multiple prominent Republican senators have expressed skepticism towards it and disapproval of a voting process that took place before the final bill was scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Ryan said he spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after the House passed its legislation to tell him “the ball’s in your court now.”
“The legislation should not take that long. Hopefully it takes a month or two to get it through the Senate,” Ryan told Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” “Hopefully it takes a month or two. Because we need to give people the ability to plan. The insurers are pulling out very, very quickly. And we need to show the insurers there’s a better system coming. Stay in the market.”
Even with the House-passed bill in hand, GOP senators have said they are already working on crafting their own repeal-and-replace legislation. The Republican majority in the Senate is much smaller than it is in the House, and with no guarantee that the compromises struck in the House version of the bill will appear in the Senate’s, the future of repeal-and-replace remains at least somewhat uncertain.
But Ryan was confident Tuesday morning in an interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that any differences between the House and Senate bills will be able to be reconciled.