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Washington — The latest GOP effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” was wounded in the Senate Monday night when two more Republican senators announced their opposition to legislation strongly backed by President Donald Trump.

The announcements from Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas left the Republican Party’s long-promised efforts to get rid of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation reeling. Next steps, if any, were not immediately clear.

Lee and Moran both said they could not support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislation in its current form. They joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom announced their opposition right after McConnell released the bill last Thursday.

McConnell is now at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate and may have to go back to the drawing board or even begin to negotiate with Democrats, a prospect he’s threatened but resisted so far.

President Donald Trump says Republicans should just repeal the nation’s current health care law and work on a new plan that starts from a “clean slate.”

Trump tweeted his message Monday night after Lee and Moranannounced their opposition.

Trump says that if Republicans start fresh, “Dems will join in!”

McConnell late Monday night said he will push the Senate to pass a clean repeal bill.

The Republican leader made the announcement in a statement that came a few hours after Lee and Moran dealt a fatal blow to the replacement bill. unveiled last Thursday.

The Kentucky Republican says, “regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.”

McConnell says that in the coming days, the Senate will consider the House-passed bill, with the first order of business a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay.

He is not saying when the vote will occur

McConnell’s bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one,” said Moran.

It was the second straight failure for McConnell, who had to cancel a vote on an earlier version of the bill last month when defeat became inevitable.

Trump had kept his distance from the Senate process, but Monday night’s development was a major blow for him, too, as the president failed to rally support for what has been the GOP’s trademark issue for seven years — ever since Obama and the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in the first place.

The Senate bill eliminated mandates and taxes under Obamacare, and unraveled a Medicaid expansion. But for conservatives like Lee and Paul it didn’t go far enough in delivering on Republican Party promises to undo Obama’s law, while moderates like Collins viewed the bill as too extreme in yanking insurance coverage from millions.

A third Republican senator also indicated Monday he might oppose his party’s health care bill.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said moderate GOP senators “basically confirmed” to him that McConnell assured them last week that Medicaid cuts planned by the legislation would “never happen” because they are too far in the future.

“It’s from my standpoint a pretty serious breach of trust, those comments,” Johnson, a conservative re-elected last year, told reporters.

“It’s from my standpoint a pretty serious breach of trust, those comments,” Johnson, a conservative re-elected last year, told reporters.

He added, “Last week I was strongly urging colleagues to vote” to begin debating the measure, a critical vote expected as early as next week. “I’m not doing that right now,” he said.

Facing uniform Democratic opposition, McConnell needs 50 of the 52 Republican senators to back the measure so Vice President Mike Pence could cast the tie-breaking vote.

Around a half-dozen GOP senators were meeting with Trump and Pence at the White House late Monday in what the White House billed as a strategy session. All senators attending were supporting the bill, and the group included No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas and No. 3 leader John Thune of South Dakota.

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