GOP Rep On Obamacare Repeal: ‘The Whip Team Has Their Work Cut Out For Them’

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 21: Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) talks to reporters following a meeting with fellow members of Congress and representatives from the Donald Trump presidential campaign at the National Republican Club of Capitol Hill April 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. The first member of Congress to endorse Trump, Collins said it is 'all but inevitable' that the real estate billionaire will get the 1237 delegates necessary to win the Republican presidential nomination during the first round of balloting at this summer's GOP convention in Cleveland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Republican leadership appears to be short on votes to pass the Obamacare repeal bill Friday, with a number of both moderate Republicans and conservatives expressing concerns about the legislation.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) said they are seeking more details on the reconciliation bill before they decide whether to support it. The centrist Tuesday Group is now hesitant to get behind the bill without a replacement plan in place.

“It’s a huge number of our conference. I was just in the Tuesday group, I may have been the only one of two or three people that stood up and said let’s get it repealed,” Rep. Chris Collins told reporters.

According to Collins, there has been some confusion among some of the members of the GOP conference over President-elect Donald Trump’s call to repeal and replace the bill “very quickly or simultaneously.” Collins believes once questions are answered more members are likely to vote for the budget measure.

“We need 218 not 241, we can only lose 23 votes, there are more than 23 members right now who are no or a lean no,” he told reporters. “Some of it’s confusion, some are going to need some hand holding — that’s what the whip team does.”

Collins said he wouldn’t be surprised if there are as many as 50 no votes as of Tuesday. ‘The whip team has their work cut out for them.”

HFC member Rep. Dave Brat said the group is looking for assurance the replacement plan will be done in two years.

“It’s kind of split, I do want to clarify, the Freedom Caucus shouldn’t be confused with others that are trying to delay this — we want this passed immediately,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “So we want an immediate repeal, and the only thing we’re asking for is just some basic structural explanation. The repeal can’t go on a decade. ”

Brat said he hopes they can resolve the issues by Friday to have a successful vote.

Leadership is confident the reconciliation bill, which only requires a simple majority in the Senate, will pass the lower chamber.

“The whip team is having positive discussions with members and we’re looking forward to a good vote,” Chris Bond, a spokesman for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, told TheDCNF in an email. “This is an important step in fulfilling the promise Republicans made to the American people to repeal Obamacare.”

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