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Friday November 15th, 2019 11:18AM

The Latest: Cornyn raises possibility of working with Dems

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

The No. 2 Senate Republican leader seemed to suggest that the two parties should try working together on health care.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas did not specify what issues the two sides could address together. But his comments followed last week's crumpling of the Senate Republican effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law.

In remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday, Cornyn cited "fragile majorities" in the Senate and said "we are forced to work together to try to solve these problems." He added that he believes bipartisan solutions "tend to be more durable."

Along those lines, Senate GOP health committee chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee discussed health care Tuesday at a private meeting with the panel's top Democrat, Patty Murray of Washington.

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12 p.m.

The Senate's top Democrat says President Donald Trump's threats to block federal payments to insurers are "not frankly what an adult does" and would boost consumers' premiums.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made the comments as Washington waits to see if Trump will halt the expenditures.

President Barack Obama's law requires insurers to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of lower- and middle-income consumers. A court has ruled that Congress hasn't properly authorized the money. Trump has continued the payments until now.

Trump and Republicans call the expenditures bailouts for insurers.

The insurance industry notes they're legally required to reduce many customers' costs. It says blocking the federal payments would cause them to boost premiums by around 20 percent.

Schumer says Trump would be to blame if that happens.

__

3:30 a.m.

Top Senate Republicans think it's time to leave their derailed drive to scrap the Obama health care law behind them.

And they're tired of the White House prodding them to keep voting on it until they succeed.

Several GOP leaders say that at least for now, they see no clear route to the 50 votes they'd need to get something — anything — recasting President Barack Obama's health care statute through the Senate.

Their drive crashed last week. And their mood didn't improve after a weekend of tweets by President Donald Trump saying they "look like fools" and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney using TV appearances to say they should continue voting.

No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas says Mulvaney should "let us do our jobs."

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