Republican senators suspiciously quiet after House passes health care repeal


In the hours following the House Republicans' passage of their vicious health care repeal plan, only seven of 52 Republican senators tweeted reactions to the measure, and those reactions were cool at best.

House Republicans have been busy engaging in beer-soaked celebration of their razor-thin passage of a cruel and wasteful health care repeal plan.

But their Senate colleagues were much more muted in their reactions, to say the least, with only seven GOP senators tweeting tepid reactions to the bill in the two hours following its passage.

The only thing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had to offer was a tweeted statement congratulating the House Republicans for a "job well done."

Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) supportive statement raised the specter of pushing the bill through with a simple majority. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) was largely supportive, as well, but both he and McConnell failed to make an affirmative case for the bill, instead attacking Obamacare.

From there, the reactions grew chillier. The closest to a flat "no" was Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who posted a series of tweets expressing his opposition to the bill "as currently constructed."

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) congratulated the House GOP, but then said it was time for the Senate to "take the time to get it right."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) posted a series of unthreaded tweets trashing Obamacare, but saying only that he "look(s) forward to carefully reviewing" the House plan, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the Senate "should continue to improve the bill."

The other 45 Republican senators have thus far been silent on Twitter — an encouraging sign for people who have resisted this bill from the start. Senate Republicans have said they are not bothering with the House bill at all; instead, they are going to write their own, which they will try to pass with just a simple majority through a process called reconciliation, but it remains to be seen if the bill would qualify under Senate rules.

Assuming it did, though, the resistance still only needs to convince three Republicans to vote against the bill. And as much as they've promised over the years to repeal Obamacare, they also know what a disastrous and unpopular move that would be. These suspiciously quiet senators may likely be in no hurry to face the wrath of their constituents.