Sen. Mike Lee will vote to open debate on repealing Obamacare, reversing previous opposition now that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring up a repeal-only bill as an amendment, his office said Tuesday morning.
The Utah senator helped bring down the latest draft by McConnell to repeal and replace much of the law on Monday, arguing that the GOP should do more to repeal the law after voting to do so in 2015. Conservatives and the president are now clamoring to resurrect that bill that was vetoed by President Barack Obama, even though some lawmakers are uncomfortable with the uncertainty a repeal effort would bring insurance markets without a replacement plan.
But first 50 GOP senators must decide to vote to open debate on the House-passed bill to get to the 2015 repeal effort as an amendment. Lee was among four senators opposing even opening debate on McConnell’s bill and Sen. John McCain is recovering from a surgery in Arizona. McConnell can lose only two GOP votes to merely open the healthcare debate.