Senate vote to proceed anticipated for this afternoon

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that

In a new twist Tuesday morning, Senate Republican leadership is pursuing a new and smaller repeal of the Affordable Care Act in an effort to secure votes that would allow for debate on a GOP health-overhaul bill, according to multiple Senate GOP aides.
If the Senate votes to begin debate, and other versions of the GOP health-care bill [e.g., the Better Care Reconciliation Act] fail in amendment votes, then Mr. McConnell would move to bring up what’s being called the “lowest-common denominator” plan.

This scaled-down measure would repeal ACA requirements that many employers provide health coverage and a mandate that most people without health coverage must pay a penalty, Senate GOP aides said Tuesday. The bill would also repeal a medical device tax, they said. If that passes, then it would set up negotiations to secure a compromise between the “skinny repeal” plan passed by the Senate and the broader bill passed by the House in May.

The motion to proceed on a reconciliation bill like this would require 51 votes and there are 52 Republican Senators in the Senate (plus Vice President Trump in the event of a tie). The vote is expected to occur this afternoon.

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