Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) reportedly clashed in a meeting of Republican senators trying to hash out Medicaid cuts in Trumpcare Wednesday.
McConnell sided with conservatives eager to dramatically slow the program’s growth, and laid into Portman for opposing it.
“As OMB director, you backed entitlement reform,” he said, according to multiple GOP sources in the leadership meeting. Portman was Office of Management and Budget director under President George W. Bush, and McConnell was implying that Portman had changed his stance from when he worked in the White House.
But Portman, who has backed individual spending caps for Medicaid under the GOP plan but not the slower growth, was having none of it.
“The leadership has overreached on this bill,” Portman shot back.
Portman is a bellwether vote here, one who hadn't been seriously considered as a real potential "no" vote, but if he truly is getting cold feet, he could take more with him. On the other hand, if McConnell can bribe him, he can bring votes. "If he were satisfied," says Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) I think that would go a long way." When the Trumpcare vote was postponed this week, Portman came out with a statement about his opposition to the bill, saying "I continue to have real concerns about the Medicaid policies in this bill, especially those that impact drug treatment at a time when Ohio is facing an opioid epidemic."
Senate Republicans are still talking Trumpcare, and plan to bring it back after July 4 recess. We absolutely MUST make sure they don’t have the votes. Keep calling your Republican senators at (202) 224-3121. Tell them “NO DEAL” on Trumpcare. Then, tell us how it went.
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