WASHINGTON — A maverick Republican senator is warning party leaders against striking a compromise with Democrats should the GOP health care bill collapse.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says if Republicans took that step, conservative voters would rebel.
Paul spoke Tuesday on the Fox News Channel as top Republicans hope to stage a climactic vote next week on their bill erasing much of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Internal Republican differences have left the measure’s fate in question.
Senate Majority Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is suggesting changes aimed at winning enough GOP votes to prevail. The measure will lose if just three of the 52 GOP senators oppose it.
McConnell has said if the bill collapses, he’d focus on writing a more limited bill. It would likely require Democratic support.
Republican leaders want to stage a climactic vote on their health care bill next week. But internal rifts over issues like coverage requirements and Medicaid cuts leave the timing and even the measure’s fate unclear.
Some Republicans said Monday that a revised version of their bill erasing much of President Barack Obama’s health care law could be introduced Thursday. And No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas said the goal was for a vote next week.
Cornyn cited seven years of unresolved Republican debate over how to replace the 2010 statute. That underscored a sense among top Republicans that they had little to gain by letting their disputes drag on much further.
Consensus on a replacement seemed more remote than ever as senators returned from July 4 recess.