House Republicans have vowed to hold a debate on their Senate health care bill next week, despite a vote by Democrats that was expected to pave the way for the measure to pass.
Lawmakers had previously said the debate would not happen until next month, but after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s announcement on Wednesday that the legislation was “dead,” Republicans have signaled they will hold it up until then.
“We’ll have a debate in April.
We’re still going to have a discussion,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“But it’s a dead bill, and we’ll have to move on,” he said.
Democrats are still trying to move the bill forward, with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., threatening to introduce legislation that would force the Senate to debate the bill.
Democrats have argued that the bill would give insurance companies more power to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, but they have not offered any specific details on how that would work.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the Senate should hold the debate until Democrats have “a more thorough and accurate description” of what is in the bill, noting that the plan was released months ago.
“They released the bill a month ago.
We don’t have the bill,” Graham said on Fox News Sunday.
He also noted that the Senate has a rule that prevents members from introducing legislation unless it “has been approved by both the House and the Senate.”
Graham added that the House could pass a new version of the bill if it were able to make changes.
“The House could do that if they want to.
But if they don’t want to, they can still have the debate,” he added.
The GOP has not said whether it will hold a vote on the measure.