Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsCollins: I’m not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare Mexico: Recent deportations ‘a violation’ of US immigration rules White House denies misleading public in aircraft carrier mix-up MORE (R-Maine) on Friday reportedly denied that she has been working with the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on a healthcare bill.
CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow claimed Thursday that the moderate senator was negotiating the details of the GOP healthcare bill with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). But that news came as a surprise to Collins, who said she “choked on [her]cereal” when she saw the report, according to the Maine Sun Journal.
Collins, who has been pushing her own healthcare measure in the Senate, said she couldn’t remember meeting Meadows or discussing substantive policy issues with him, the Sun Journal reported.
Kudlow also said that Collins could help push a healthcare bill through the Senate next week if the House passes one. Collins rejected that notion outright, and said that she doesn’t “believe in jamming legislation through.”
The White House is holding out hope that a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could come to a vote in Congress as early as next week, but many Republican lawmakers though have expressed deep skepticism that a vote could come that quickly, noting that the text of such a bill hasn’t even been written yet.
GOP lawmakers are eager to pass a healthcare bill after their first attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed last month due to a dearth of support among Republicans, especially members of the Freedom Caucus.
While Collins also opposed that bill, she said it is unlikely that Meadows would be willing to work with her on a new bill, calling their rumored negotiations “a very improbable pairing” while saying she’d be “happy to talk” wth Meadows, according to the Sun Journal.
Collins: I’m not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare