One veteran GOP aide said part of the problem is that the bill is broad enough that it allows opponents to target different constituencies within the GOP for lobbying, pressing their case on social issues with conservatives such as Foxx while targeting fiscal conservatives on the bill’s costs. “The longer it hangs out there, the more they can pick off,” the aide said.
Even if House Republicans manage to pass the bill by Friday, it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Sen. Tom Coburn has consistently opposed the fee provisions in the bill, insisting that the PTO be given full control of them.
Given his use of the chamber’s rules to tie legislation in knots, Senate GOP aides predicted the Oklahoma Republican could block the measure if it arrives with the House language intact.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.