WASHINGTON — Georgia’s two U.S. senators were planning to join many of their GOP colleagues at the White House Tuesday afternoon after Senate leaders abruptly hit the breaks on a health care overhaul they had been planning to bring to a vote later this week.
Republicans David Perdue and Johnny Isakson both voiced support for their party leaders’ decision to take the July 4th recess to rework their Obamacare replacement legislation after it became clear there were not enough votes as written.
“I think this was a good decision,” Perdue told our Cox colleague Jamie Dupree. “We’re so close. Another couple of days, I think we can iron out the differences.”
“We owe it to the people back home to give them every ounce of effort we can to make sure their concerns are heard, and so that’s what this is about,” Perdue added.
Isakson, meanwhile, was uncharacteristically quiet after leaving a private lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and other Republican senators
“They’ve got a hard job and I’m not going to make editorial comments about what they may or may not do,” Isakson said of Republican leaders.
He sidestepped questions about what the delay could mean for the state of the overhaul effort but said “doing nothing is not acceptable.”
“By asking questions like that you’re taking me down the garden path of getting into stuff I don’t want to get into until the leader has spoken, so I’m not going to,” he said.
Both Isakson and Perdue are viewed as relatively safe “yes” votes for Republican leaders as they look to wrangle support from 48 other GOP senators on their health care overhaul. But several moderates and conservatives harbored deep reservations, enough to put the measure in jeopardy.