THE POLITICO TICK TOCK — HOW HEALTH CARE FELL APART — BURGESS EVERETT, JEN HABERKORN and JOSH DAWSEY: “Inside the GOP’s health care flop”: “Senate Republicans had no inkling of what they were walking into on Tuesday afternoon as they filed into the Mike Mansfield room on the Capitol’s second floor. Mitch McConnell’s 51 colleagues, from his most junior members to his closest lieutenants, fully expected the Senate to vote this week on the Senate GOP’s wounded Obamacare repeal bill. They knew the whip count was far worse than advertised, but were ready for McConnell to either admit defeat or make a furious round of deal-making to try to win their support.
“They took McConnell at his word that a vote would occur, regardless of the result. Then the Kentucky Republican shocked them all as he dispassionately informed them at the top of the meeting that the vote would be delayed, and that he would continue the painful exercise of trying to get 50 of the caucus’s 52 votes for Obamacare repeal. Never mind that McConnell and his team had previously made clear that they did not believe letting the bill hang out over the July 4 recess would improve the result of the perilous negotiations. ‘It’s different from what he said … yesterday afternoon as late as 5:30 p.m.,’ said a Republican senator. …
“‘Tinkering isn’t going to work, from my perspective. There would have to be a major overhaul of the bill … to win my support,’ [Maine Sen. Susan] Collins said. … ‘The truth is, we’re not even close. This is not, like, a couple of tweaks,’ the aide said.” http://politi.co/2sfQ2S2
— A NOTE: Collins seems pretty dug in. As does Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). The margin here is super slim.
GREAT DETAILS – per NYT’s Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin: “When asked by reporters clustered on the blacktop outside the West Wing if Mr. Trump had command of the details of the negotiations, Mr. McConnell ignored the question and smiled blandly. … A senator who supports the bill left the meeting at the White House with a sense that the president did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan — and seemed especially confused when a moderate Republican complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy, according to an aide who received a detailed readout of the exchange. Mr. Trump said he planned to tackle tax reform later, ignoring the repeal’s tax implications, the staff member added.” http://nyti.ms/2uhcaYY
–“How Governors From Both Parties Plotted to Derail the Senate Health Bill,” by NYT’s Alex Burns: http://nyti.ms/2tjZ2EZ
— “How Schumer kept Dems united on Obamacare: The Senate Democratic leader worked closely with senators and activist groups to keep pressure on the GOP — and won at least a temporary victory as the repeal bill stalled,” by Seung Min Kim and Elana Schor. http://politi.co/2tjjhmj
A CHEAT SHEET FOR MCCONNELL AND W.H. LEG AFFAIRS — “5 changes McConnell can make to get repeal bill on track,” by Adam Cancryn: http://politi.co/2tj9Vrb
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, one of the steadiest and most reliable leaders and vote counters Washington has seen, did the unthinkable and rattled his ranks. The Kentucky Republican had told lawmakers there would be a vote this week on health care, but instead — just as Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to do three months ago — decided to delay voting on the package after it was clear that GOP opposition to the health care package was stronger than expected.
MCCONNELL has been impervious to the types of problems Ryan faces on a weekly — and sometimes daily — basis. His decision to delay voting on a bill is a sign he couldn’t, or didn’t want to expend the political capital to get it done before the July 4th break. It’s unclear what he can do to change the calculus among the growing bloc of senators unwilling to vote for the bill.
THE BIG PROBLEM — “Poll: Fewer than 4-in-10 voters back GOP health bill,” by Steven Shepard: “Just 38 percent of voters approve of the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted before Senate leaders pulled the latest version of their bill in an effort to win over more GOP votes. That’s fewer than the 45 percent who disapprove of the Republican health care bill. Another 17 percent say they don’t know or have no opinion of the bill.” http://politi.co/2tnGRPC
DAN BALZ’S TAKE — “‘Repeal and replace’ was once a unifier for the GOP. Now it’s an albatross.” http://wapo.st/2uhu2ms