“I don’t know why our friends on the other side would not like to vote on this,” McConnell said. “Apparently, they are spending the week trying to convince the American people that this is a wonderful bill, that they are really proud that they did it, and I suggested at the opening this morning that we should have a vote on it.”
McConnell added, “It doesn’t have to slow the Senate down, we’d be willing to enter into a time agreement to have a very, very short debate; we are all thoroughly familiar with the subject ... and let the American people know where we stand on whether it’s a good idea to continue Obamacare.”
Republicans also cast doubt that the bill could be passed before the end of the week when Congress plans to leave for its monthlong summer recess.
“I am not so bold as to predict where [we will] be at the end of the week, but I think there is a widespread agreement that a bill should pass; there may be some differences of opinion about whether it should pass at the end of this week,” McConnell said.
Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt (Mo.) said he believes the bill will face difficulties passing this week, but he didn’t rule it out.
“I’d like to see us do something this year, but this week gets increasingly difficult,” Blunt said. “There’s just too much disagreement on too big an issue in all likelihood.”
Opposition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also created a steady headwind against getting commitments from Senators to vote for the measure.
The bill’s sponsors continue to try push for support.
“I am still hopeful” the bill can pass this week, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) said. “Behind the scenes we are having a lot of fruitful discussions.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.