Republican Sen. Rand Paul criticized the current Senate GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, likening legislation pushed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to a Christmas tree for its spending.
"Here’s the problem … I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with the bill we have. We’re at an impasse. Every time you add federal money, more spending, for the big government Republicans, it offends the conservatives," Paul (R-Ky.) said on "Fox News Sunday." "So right now, this bill, which is not a repeal, has become the kitchen sink."
"The bill is just being lit up like a Christmas tree full of billion-dollar ornaments, and it’s not repeal," Paul said, referencing proposals used to win over moderate Republican senators, such as $45 billion to combat the opioid epidemic and potentially boosting subsidies or maintaining some of the law’s taxes.
Instead, Paul pushed for the Senate to take up a straight repeal of the massive health law and simultaneously consider legislation to replace it. President Donald Trump endorsed the idea last week that the Senate, failing a replacement, should first repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Paul and Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse both advocated the idea as the Senate put off a vote on its replacement plan.
"Let’s do clean repeal like we promised. I think you can get 52 Republicans for clean repeal," Paul said. "You can have a simultaneous bill or a concurrent bill that they can call replace and that I think, perhaps if it’s big spending, they could probably get Democrats to go along with big spending."
"I’m not for that, but I’m saying I want repeal to work, and the way you do it is you separate it into two bill and you do it concurrently," he added.