McConnell Bows to Confused Trump: No Harm in Voting for TrumpCare
No one will blame you for being confused about where President Donald Trump stands on Trumpcare, the Republican backed health care bill.
One minute he wants the health care bill to fail so he can’t blame the Democrats for the failure. The next, he wants the Republicans to pass the TrumpCare. He even wants Republican senators to stay in Washington, D.C., until they pass a bill, any bill.
As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Trump told GOP senators during a meeting earlier today that “inaction is not an option,” after telling them on Tuesday that he thought “we should let ObamaCare fail.”
Moments after meeting with GOP senators, Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said voting on the bill will proceed next week.
“Next week we’ll be voting on the motion to proceed, and I have every expectation that we’ll be able to get on the bill,” McConnell told reporters after the lunch meeting with Trump.
While it is not clear which version of TrumpCare McConnell is talking about, Trump made it clear he wants a repeal and replace health care bill.
“We are in this room to deliver on our promise,” Trump told the lawmakers. “We have no choice, we have to repeal and replace Obamacare. We can repeal it but the best is repeal and replace and let’s get going. I intend to keep my promise and I know you will, too.”
“People are hurting. Inaction is not an option and frankly, I don’t think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give our people great health care because we are close, we are very close,” he added.
This call for a healthcare repeal and replace bill by the president is a direct opposite of what Sen. McConnell said earlier he wanted to do. After acknowledging that he did not have the votes to pass repeal and replace bill, the Senate leader said he will move forward anyway.
“There is a large majority in our conference that want to demonstrate to the American people that they intend to keep the commitment they made in four straight elections to repeal Obamacare,” he told the media.
“I think we all agreed it is better to vote to repeal and replace. But we could have a vote on either and if we end up voting on repeal only, it will be fully amendable on the Senate floor and if it were to pass without any amendment at all, there is a two-year delay before it kicks in.”
He later added that it is “pretty obvious we have had some difficulty in getting 50 votes to proceed,” he intends to “vote on the motion to proceed next week.”
“So the takeaway from what I am telling you is no harm is done by getting on the bill.”
Trump later added that he is ready to act on any bill that gets to his desk.
“I am ready to act,” Trump said. “I have pen in hand, believe me, I am sitting in that office, I have pen in hand. You never had that before.”
“It is contemporarily sort of revived,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said of the repeal and replace bill when speaking to reporters a moment after the meeting with the president. “I think we don’t have any delusions about the fact that this is going to be very hard and we still have members who are not there yet.”
Sen. McConnell revealed that Vice President Mike Pence, Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary and Seema Verma, head of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would be meeting with GOP senators later to answer their questions.
“There are going to be some meetings tonight up here with people who still have outstanding issues and I think the question will be, yeah, can we find a way to yes?” Thune said.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of the three women senators that said they would vote against repeal only bill said “I think there will be a lot more discussion before there’s a motion to proceed.”
Senate Majority Leader John Cornyn (R-Tx.) said his caucus was still discussing the healthcare bill.
“We’re still discussing it. I suspect it will be anything senators want to vote on. If a senator wants to offer an amendment that’s the 2015 bill, they can do that.
“If we can get an agreement here, my preference would be to start with the BCRA, agree to language, and I think were getting closer,” Sen. Cornyn added.
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