A top conservative group is threatening primary challenges to senators who vote against a repeal of ObamaCare after Senate Republicans failed to coalesce around a replacement plan.
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who now serves as the president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, drew the line in the sand on Tuesday, soon after reports surfaced that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) plans to hold a repeal vote even though it’s already clear he doesn’t have the votes to pass it.
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“Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare for years and now with President Trump in the White House, there is no excuse for them to break their promise,” Cuccinelli said.
“Working with the grassroots across the country, we will seek to identify, recruit, and fund conservative challengers against Republican senators who vote against repeal. If they won’t keep their word and if they can’t find the courage to repeal a liberal takeover of our health care system that has hurt so many American families, they should be replaced by someone who will.” The threat raises the electoral stakes for Republican senators who oppose the repeal-only plan — so far, that group includes Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMilley discussed resigning from post after Trump photo-op: report OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash MORE (Maine) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoTim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week Senate GOP shifts on police reform Shelley Moore Capito wins Senate primary MORE (W.Va.). None of them are up for reelection in 2018 — Collins and Capito are up again in 2020, while Murkowski doesn’t have to worry about reelection until 2022.
But the warning ups the pressure on lawmakers such as Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.), who faces the most difficult reelection path of any incumbent Republican senator in 2018.