(WASHINGTON) — Utah Sen. Mike Lee has become the fifth Republican senator to oppose starting debate on the GOP health care bill. That deals another blow to party leaders hoping to push the top-priority measure through the Senate this week.
Lee was among four conservative senators who announced last week they oppose the bill's current version. Lee spokesman Conn Carroll said Tuesday that the lawmaker will not vote for a crucial procedural motion allowing the Senate to begin debate on the legislation, unless it's changed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can lose the votes of only two of the 52 Republican senators to begin debate and ultimately pass the bill. All Democrats oppose it.
Lee has favored a fuller repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law than the current GOP bill.