The prickly process of passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is like “two porcupines making love,” according to one Republican senator.
“Once in Glacier National Park I saw two porcupines making love,” Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts told the Associated Press. “I’m assuming they produced smaller porcupines. They produced something. It has to be done carefully. That’s what we’re doing now.”
How porcupines make love (very carefully) is an old joke, but Roberts’ comment highlights the coming difficulty of passing President Donald Trump’s bill that Democrats view as heartless toward the people on Obamacare, and some conservatives view as not harsh enough on the Obamacare system itself.
The AHCA, which passed the House only to be dramatically rewritten in the Senate, simply does not yet have enough support to become law, and Senate leadership is doing whatever it can to bring more votes on board.
Trump himself said Wednesday that getting approval for the Senate version of the health care bill will be “very tough,” but later said that “We’re gonna have a big surprise, with a great health care package,” at a White House event honoring the Chicago Cubs. (RELATED: Trump Promises ‘Big Surprise’ For ‘Great Health Care Package’)
Roberts is one of the few senators who support the bill in its current form, leading Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to look for other ways to garner support of the bill.
McConnell pushed the vote on AHCA, which was scheduled for Wednesday, to after the July 4 recess to buy time to convince more Senators to vote yes.
Many Republicans and most Democrats have decried the secrecy in drafting the legislation. “I expect to see buyouts and bailouts, backroom deals and kickbacks to individual senators to try and buy their vote,” Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
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