GOP centrist: FBI firing distracting from healthcare work

GOP centrist: FBI firing distracting from healthcare work
© Keren Carrion

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is distracting from work in the Senate on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, says Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSenate takes lead on Trump’s infrastructure proposal Navy leaders defend Trump's lackluster ship budget Overnight Healthcare: CBO fallout | GOP senators distance themselves from House bill | Trump budget chief blasts score | Schumer says House bill belongs 'in the trash' MORE (R-Maine).

“I think he already has,” Collins told reporters in response to a question about whether Comey could become a distraction.

The Senate has begun working on a healthcare bill separate from the legislation passed by the House last week intended to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Senators have said they are starting from scratch and will take as much time as they need.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynRepublicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions Senate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Senate staff to draft health bill during recess MORE (R-Texas) has said he expects the bill to be finished before the end of the year. But time is limited, especially with a summer recess and government funding deadlines looming in the fall.

Collins, one of the Senate's moderates and the author of her own separate healthcare bill, could be a major player as discussions move forward.