Earlier this month, news broke that House Republicans managed to pass their American Health Care Act with a marginal 217-213 vote, with all Democrats and 20 Republicans voting against it. This was a major win for President Trump, after a once failed attempt at passing the bill in late March. Speaker of the house Paul Ryan, however, still has not passed the bill onto the Senate for approval and concerns about a possible house revote have arisen.
Why a revote would be needed
The bill is still under review by the Congressional Budget Office who will make a final decision on what financial effects the bill will have. A final conclusion has not been reached by the CBO since it has not received the final version after two major amendments were drafted. Bloomberg reports that if Republicans send the bill to the Senate now and the CBO later determines that the bill does not save the government at least $2 billion, it would doom the bill and Republicans would have to start their repeal effort all over. Once the bill is in the Senate, Republicans would not be allowed to make any changes to it.
Paul Ryan Downplaying Concern
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday, Speaker Paul Ryan did not seem alarmed when asked if the bill would need a revote:
No, we don’t think that’s the case. What we’re doing is very, very, you know, it’s just a technical non-issue, is what it is. It’s we’re just out of an abundance of caution, we’re waiting to send the bill to the Senate for the final CBO score. The CBO score basically has to be in deficit compliance, meaning it can’t produce a deficit. It has to save. And the last CBO score we had, it saved $150 billion dollars. The only change that we’ve made since that CBO score was an $8 billion dollar amendment. So, but we just want to, out of an abundance of caution, wait to send the bill over to the Senate when we get the final score. So we’re just basically being overly-cautious, but there’s really kind of a non-issue here.
News on the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusions should be breaking soon so stay tuned to our blog for more updates.