On Monday, Republican senators were not able to avoid the question: Would they support the Graham-Cassidy bill, most probably their last chance to overhaul Obamacare?
It’s a proposal that not more than a week ago seemed dead and with no chance of arrival in the Senate. The Republicans had tried repealing it before, more than just once.
However, their optimism spread out on Thursday, while Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that he would bring the bill to the floor if Graham and Cassidy delivered the necessary votes to pass it.
“We talked about the bill and the leader said ‘Look I’ll help you get across the finish line’ and everybody started looking more at the bill. I started looking at it this weekend really for the first time,” said Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana.
In addition, Pat Roberts, Republican from Kansas, mentioned that everyone is fully aware that this is most probably the last chance they have.
“We’d like to do something and something’s better than nothing,” Roberts said.
By Monday, the momentum was gaining strength. Cassidy and Graham were both engaged in a full-court press and reached out to colleagues and leadership, trying to get them to back their plan in public. Moreover, House Speaker Paul Ryan was emphasizing that the plan is the “best, last chance” that the GOP has to overhaul Obamacare.
South Dakota Republican Senator John Tune said that Cassidy is a “grave robber”, when asked about his role.
“He’s the grave robber,” Thune said. “This thing was six feet under and I think he’s revived it to the point where there’s actually a lot of positive buzz and forward momentum but it still comes down to, in the Senate, getting 50 votes.”