Alexander, Corker praise punt of Obamacare repeal vote

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker say the delaying of this week’s scheduled Senate vote on legislation to repeal and replace most of Obamacare is a good thing, reports Michael Collins.

Alexander, who was part of the working group that helped craft the legislation, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the right call in postponing a vote on the bill.

“Senator McConnell made a wise decision today to delay voting on the Senate health care bill and give senators time to reach an agreement, because senators are actually closer to an agreement than it might appear,” said Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“There are some differences remaining,” Alexander said, “but this issue is important enough to the country that if we need another few days to get it right, we ought to do that.”

Corker said he also agreed with the delay.

“This is important and will affect people in very real ways,” he said of the bill. “Delaying the vote shows that we understand that and want to get it right. We will continue working over the next several days to improve this legislation and resolve a number of legitimate issues.”

Note: Democrats nationally have made a theme of criticizing development of the GOP plan behind closed doors with Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini joining in. After the postponement was announced, she declared Alexander and Corker should use the extra time to hold town hall meetings on health care (though it’s doubtful they’ll heed her advice).

From a TNDP press release: “Senator Corker and Senator Alexander have abdicated their responsibility to be accessible to their constituents. Every person in Tennessee will be impacted by this legislation. Tennesseans deserve an open meeting with their senators to make their voices heard and this recess gives them the perfect opportunity to hear from voters,” said Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, “What are they waiting for?”

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