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Health Care Protesters Arrested from House, Senate Buildings

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell of Ky. with his director of operations Stefanie Hagar Muchow right walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday

McConnell said that once the Senate "completes its work on health care reform", it would deal with the defense policy bill and nominations.

Though it may be a while before he and his fellow House Republicans see a bill returned to their chamber.

The move came in reaction to concerns by many Republican senators that there won't be enough time to tackle their tax, budget, and health care to-dos before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

McConnell blamed the recess delay on an "unprecedented level of obstruction" and said Democrats have "mindlessly stalled" confirmation of President Donald Trump's appointees.

They can afford only two defections within their party to pass the Senate healthcare bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Republicans are struggling to reach consensus on a plan to repeal and replace the so-called Obamacare law.

Consensus on a replacement seemed more remote than ever as senators returned from July 4 recess. It also goes beyond repealing Obamacare by cutting funding for the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled beginning in 2025.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump pressed Congress on Monday

"Clearly, the draft plan is dead", he said on Fox News.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas made the case to fellow Republicans during their weekly luncheon that they should embrace a radical change to the ACA that would allow companies to offer minimalist plans on the private insurance market that don't meet current coverage requirements.

A revised Congressional Budget Office score, showing the costs and impact on coverage of the new version of the bill, is expected on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

With Democrats united in opposition, McConnell needs the votes from 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans to get the measure passed.

Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota with a background in the insurance industry, said he likes that the Cruz amendment promotes "competition at the state level". An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll earlier this month found just 17 percent support the Senate GOP bill, and that even GOP support for it is soft.

Grassley, first elected in 1980, said that Republicans have been promising for years to repeal Obama's 2010 statute and said, "There are consequences if you don't deliver on election promises, and there ought to be".

Besides Paul and Collins, at least two other Republican senators publicly said they hadn't decided whether to back McConnell on the initial vote: conservative Sen.