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Montana Senator Steve Daines Says He’s Still Undecided on ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’

photo by Peter Christian
Steve Daines

As the republicans in the U.S. Senate debate the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” a republican healthcare bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act, Montana Senator Steve Daines says he’s still not ready to sign onto or oppose the bill.

“Here’s the challenge we face right now: we don’t have a current bill!” Daines said. “We need to see what the latest bill is. There are changes going on right now, they are holding these cards pretty close to the vest. I’ve been participating in many, many meetings on these polices,  but we’re not able to see the actual bill text, until you see the actual bill text, it’s pretty hard to know what you’re going to be voting on.”

If the bill passes, the U.S. House and Senate will work on yet another bill through a process called reconciliation before any new laws go into place. This process can add to or strip out elements in the Senate bill, but Daines says the Senate bill still matters, because it needs to lure more votes.

“It is pretty important what the Senate bill says,” Daines said. “Because, whatever the Senate does, I would say at best there are even odds that the Senate actually does something here. I mean, the margins are thin… you can count it on just three fingers, if three republican senators decide they don’t like the bill, the bill goes nowhere.”

Republicans need at least 50 votes to push the bill through, if they get 50 votes, Vice President Mike Pence would be able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

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