Pence steps up to the plate to help with healthcare bill

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In an effort to gain support for the Senate Republican’s healthcare legislation, Vice President Mike Pence will host a Tuesday night dinner for conservative senators.

Pence has issued invitations to Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, among others. Lee has expressed opposition to the bill as it is currently written.

According to a Politico report, the White House is focusing its lobbying efforts on undecided conservatives as it seeks to secure the 50 votes needed in the Senate to pass the healthcare legislation. In order for the bill to pass, the Republicans can only lose two votes from its members.

The vice president’s efforts were integral in reviving negotiations earlier this year for the House Republican’s healthcare legislation after they withdrew their first version from the floor.

Following the release of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Senate healthcare bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Monday that lawmakers would “soon take action” on the legislation.

At least five senators have requested changes in the bill in exchange for their support, including four who want the bill to reflect more conservative principles.

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