Hill Roundtable: Health Care Vote Awaits Negotiation

Senators may yet vote on the Republicans’ controversial health care bill, but it won’t happen before they get back from the Fourth of July recess.

Tax reporters Colleen Murphy and Laura Davison talked with host Matthew Beddingfield on the latest episode of Talking Tax about continued GOP efforts to reach consensus on the bill in the face of unflattering Congressional Budget Office scores and heated debate over what the bill should and shouldn’t include.

The Senate will have about three weeks to wrap up negotiations, and vote, before heading home for the traditional August recess. While Republicans can lose two votes and still pass the measure in the Senate, as many as nine senators have made it clear the bill isn’t enough in its current form.

The size of the bill’s tax credits, as well as whether to repeal or retain the Affordable Care Act’s net investment income tax, are two areas still up for negotiation. President Donald Trump appears to have conceded that a bill might not actually pass at all: "This will be great if we get it done," Trump was quoted as saying, "and if we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like. And that’s okay, and I understand that very well."

When and if the Senate does pass a bill, the legislation will either go to conference with the House’s version, or the House will simply vote on the Senate’s version. Then Republicans will face the next challenge on their agenda, which undoubtedly will prove at least as complex as health care: tax reform.