President Trump plans to host a group of Republican senators at the White House on Monday night as he seeks to persuade them to back the Senate’s new healthcare bill.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the meeting but declined to provide a list of senators expected to attend.
Later in the evening, a White House official said the following GOP senators were attending: No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn (Texas), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Steve Daines (Mont.), James Lankford (Okla.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), and John Thune (S.D.).
Senate leaders face a tough task in generating momentum for their plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Two Republicans, Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Susan Collins (Maine), already oppose the measure, meaning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) cannot afford to lose another vote and still get the measure passed.
According to The Hill’s whip list, Daines and Lankford are undecided on the bill, while the other White House guests are leaning toward supporting the current draft.
McConnell hoped to move forward this week, but had to push that back because of Sen. John McCain‘s health problems.
The Arizona Republican will be out of pocket this week as he recovers from surgery. He hopes to return next week, though that is not guaranteed.
Nonetheless, Spicer voiced optimism that the Senate will pass the bill repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
“We have every confidence in the majority leader’s ability to get this done,” Spicer said.