Story highlights

Susan Collins said Trump should not have started with a politically divisive issue

She said she'll attend a meeting at the White House this afternoon

Washington CNN  — 

A moderate senator who opposes the current draft of the Senate health care bill said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s lack of political experience is partly to blame for the GOP’s struggles to pass the legislation.

“It has been a challenge to him to learn how to interact with Congress and how to push his agenda forward,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins told reporters Tuesday afternoon, shortly after CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will delay a vote on the bill until after the July 4 recess.

“This President is the first president in our history who has had neither political nor military experience,” Collins added.

The Maine senator said she wishes Trump had attempted to pass legislation on issues that could have bipartisan support – like infrastructure – before trying to tackle “a politically divisive and technically complex issue like health care.”

Collins said that she planned to accept the White House’s invitation for an all-GOP senators meeting later Tuesday, but insisted that she’s not anywhere close to supporting the bill.

“If the President wants to have a meeting with me I’m certainly willing to go and listen what he has to say,” she said. “I will say that I have so many fundamental problems with the bill that have been confirmed by the CBO report that it’s difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the impact of the bill.”

After the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the bill yesterday, which predicted that 22 million people will lose coverage if the Senate bill becomes law, Collins tweeted her opposition.

“I want to work w/ my GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA. CBO analysis shows Senate bill won’t do it.”