WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday delayed a vote on the Senate health care bill until after the July 4 recess, giving his caucus more time to negotiate changes to the proposal but leaving the GOP campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare in limbo.
"If it were up to me, we wouldn't go on recess next week," Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) told FOX8 Wednesday. "We'd continue to be working on this bill until we produce an outcome. And if it were up to me, we wouldn't go on recess in August. We've got to produce a result. We owe it to the American people."
GOP senators are back behind closed doors, trying to hammer out some kind of path forward.
Getting a new bill done by Friday is an ambitious goal, that could very well slide, a senior GOP aide acknowledged to CNN.
The big question:
What's going to change in three days -- or 13 days -- to make this happen? Senators are going to have to move away from firmly, publicly held positions if McConnell is ever going to get the 50 votes he needs to pass this legislation. Who is going to do it first?
President Donald Trump's role, as viewed from the Hill: "He has his role. We have ours. There probably won't be much intersection," one senior GOP aide said after his boss came back from a White House meeting Tuesday. The point being: details and negotiating will be handled in house. The president "will do social media and make big promises on TV."
Tuesday was the second straight meeting with GOP senators (the first one was with a smaller group a few weeks ago) where it was clear, at least to senators in attendance, the president wasn't read in on the in-the-weeds details and concerns of individual members, according to two people with direct knowledge of the meeting.
Those people described it as a good meeting -- one in which the president mostly listened, talked about the promises made to constituents and the need to add some money to the bill. When lawmakers and aides tick through the White House operation, it's clear Vice President Mike Pence is very much in the thick of it. The president's legislative team has been in the room every step of the way. Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma is constantly on the phone with GOP senators.
But the President? "He's not the details guy," the aide said. "And senators need details."