A top Senate Republican signaled Monday afternoon that while Republicans are looking for Democratic cooperation as they dismantle Obamacare, the GOP is willing to go it alone.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said there are just three numbers that matter when it comes to repeal: 218 (a House majority), 51 (a Senate majority) and 1 (President Trump). Hatch's committee is working on a budget reconciliation bill to repeal and partially replace big parts of the Affordable Care Act.
"While I'd like to see the final product pass by larger numbers… those numbers give us a clear picture as to what kind of consensus is necessary," Hatch said. But he added that "218, 51 and 1 have to be the standard by which we judge any alternatives."
Republicans currently have the majorities in both the House and Senate to pass the reconciliation bill, and Trump has said he'd sign it. But while leadership had promised to pass a repeal bill quickly, the effort is taking longer than they originally indicated and may not finished for some weeks or months.