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WHIP COUNT: O’Care Repeal/Replace Debate Comes Down to 10 Senators

Ten Republican senators – some conservative, some moderate, some up for re-election in 2018, some just re-elected – hold the keys to starting debate on Obamacare repeal and replacement.

Sen. Mitch McConnell

The Senate will vote on starting debate to repeal and replace Obamacare on Tuesday. If the vote is successful, what comes next is, as of now, unclear.

President Trump seemed to acknowledge as much on Tuesday morning, with a tweet saying he’s waiting for “Repeal,” or “Repeal & Replace!”

Many senators have been mum on the vote to start debate, also known as the vote on the motion to proceed (MTP). Here are the 10 senators that matter, and where they stand.

NO (2)


  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO): likely yes on starting debate
  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): likely yes on starting debate

YES (6)

  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): yes on staring debat
  • Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV): yes on staring debate
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT): yes on starting debate
  • Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS): yes on starting debate
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): announced he will vote yes on the MTP on Tuesday morning
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): will vote in favor of starting debate

With John McCain’s return to the Senate on Tuesday, Senate GOP leadership can afford to lose two votes, and Vice President Mike Pence can break a 50-50 tie.

If the Senate GOP loses three votes on the MTP, though, it will fail.