But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, predicted, “It’s going to be a grind.”
Earlier this week, 17 GOP senators joined all Democrats in voting to start the debate, launching what will be a dayslong process to consider the bill. That support largely held Friday during another procedural vote, with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., again voting yes to nudge the process along.
Whether the number of Republican senators willing to pass the bill grows or shrinks in the days ahead will determine if the president’s signature issue can make it across the finish line.
Cornyn said he expects Schumer to allow all senators to have a chance to shape the bill and allow for amendments from members of both parties.
“I’ve been disappointed that Sen. Schumer has seen fit to try to force us to vote on a bill that does not exist in its entirety, but I hope we can now pump the brakes a little bit and take the time and care to evaluate the benefits and the cost of this legislation,” Cornyn said.
Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., released a statement on Friday saying they were close to finalizing the legislative text and hoped to make it public later in the day. But Friday came and went without final paperwork.
“When legislative text is finalized that reflects the product of our group, we will make it public together consistent with the bipartisan way we’ve worked for the last four months,” the senators said.