Two moderate GOP defectors came out in favor of the motion to proceed on taking up the House-passed health care bill for debate Tuesday.
GOP Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Dean Heller of Nevada joined the ranks of Republicans who support beginning debating the House health care bill which passed by a narrow margin in May, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The two moderate defectors have proven themselves significant obstacles for GOP leadership, due to their objection to the significant Medicaid cuts included in the Senate health care bill.
The newly won support of the two lawmakers is significant as the GOP can only afford two defectors if they hope to pass the motion to proceed with the simple majority required under budget resolution rules.
Heller’s vote is especially meaningful considering his Nevada seat is considered especially vulnerable in the 2018 midterms.
“There are commonsense solutions that could improve our health care system and today’s vote gives us the opportunity to fight for them,” Heller said in a statement. “If the final product isn’t improved for the state of Nevada, then I will not vote for it.”
GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who joined Portman and Heller in their opposition to the original Senate bill, also rejoined the fold Tuesday, voicing her support for the motion to proceed.
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