The White House is now preparing to move forward on a health-care bill that could be a game-changer in a midterm election year that could turn out to be more consequential than the election of a Republican president.
But for now, Republicans remain bogged down in negotiations that could take months and potentially cost tens of billions of dollars.
And the GOP’s efforts to pass an overhaul of the nation’s health-insurance system are on hold as the House and Senate fight over a budget bill that would give Congress more time to complete the legislative overhaul.
President Donald Trump’s White House has said it is considering a health bill that will include a tax credit for buying private insurance or paying a tax on the cost of health insurance, a provision that would be the centerpiece of a package of reforms that would provide billions in savings to the federal government.
But Republicans remain mired in a series of impasse after a tumultuous few weeks that have included a shutdown, a Supreme Court decision on a challenge to Trump’s travel ban and a Supreme court ruling that said the president has the authority to halt immigration from several majority-Muslim countries.
The health-policy fights underscore the deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats and underscore the complicated path ahead as the Senate and House are working on a final package that could face a long and arduous legislative fight.
The Senate is moving ahead with its bill to provide tax credits for insurance plans and pay for the bill by reducing the federal deficit.
The House is also working on its plan, which would give a small tax credit to those who buy health insurance and limit the federal tax on health-related purchases to 2.9 percent of gross domestic product.
The two sides are now working to hammer out the details of the final plan and are expected to release it soon, according to a senior White House official.
But the process is expected to take months because of the legislative stalemate.
A bill would be introduced in the Senate by Sens.
Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and would be amended by a number of GOP senators who oppose the current bill, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana.
The House bill would also include the tax credit and cut the deficit by $20 billion over a decade, according the official.
But the House plan would have to be voted on by a majority of Republicans to become law.
Republicans are struggling to pass legislation despite having majorities in both chambers and some of their most conservative members still on the fence about supporting a bill that was crafted to satisfy their ideological base.
In the House, more than half of Republicans and about two-thirds of independents oppose the bill.
But even among conservatives, the bill is far from perfect.
Many conservatives want to keep the tax credits in place, while some Republicans want to scale back the amount of the tax penalties.
The Republican leadership has been trying to strike a balance between the need to provide relief to consumers and provide certainty to insurers.
It’s unclear if the new legislation would provide enough relief for consumers, according a senior Senate Republican aide.
The new bill is also likely to be a disappointment to many in the GOP because it’s still a long way from a full-blown plan to replace Obamacare, which has been unpopular with voters and has led to a decline in the number of Americans who have health insurance.
The White House and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have been working to persuade Democrats to support the bill, which will be presented as a bipartisan effort.
But even if it passes the Senate, it’s likely to face opposition from Republicans in the House.
Republicans have repeatedly said they want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
But that would require them to pass major legislation to do so.
The White and Democratic leaderships have said they would rather see a legislative framework that would include the subsidies and a provision to pay for them through a tax increase on the wealthy.
That would make it much more difficult for House Speaker Paul Ryan to get a bill through the House that he would then use to pass his own bill, something he has said he would not do.
The Republicans have also been under pressure from Democrats to make progress on a budget plan that would address a projected $1.2 trillion deficit in 2019, which they have said could be the end of their hopes of passing any legislation.
The Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday that if the GOP does not make major changes to its plan to lower the deficit in the next few years, it could add $600 billion to the deficit.
That would amount to a significant shift in the deficit, and it would likely increase the deficit over the next decade.