By Robert Donachie, DCNF
President Donald Trump said Wednesday afternoon that senators should not leave Washington, D.C. for the August recess without taking action to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The president said that any Republican senator who remains opposed to debating the Senate bill is signaling to their constituents that they are simply “fine with Obamacare.”
BREAKING: Trump says senators shouldn’t leave town for August recess without action on health care overhaul.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 19, 2017
Trump hosted a group of Republican senators for lunch at the White House to discuss their progress on repealing and replacing Obamacare, a task that has proven nearly impossible for GOP leadership in both the House and Senate.
Prior to the meeting, Trump tweeted “The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime.The Dems scream death as OCare dies!”
The president urged members of Congress to delay the August recess in early July. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to Trump’s request with an announcement that he would shorten the recess by two weeks to give lawmakers ample time to come to an agreement on the best way to reform health care.
I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
McConnell and Trump called for a full repeal of Obamacare late Monday evening after four more Republican senators came out against the Senate to repeal major portions of Obamacare.
McConnell announced Monday night that he would put forth a repeal-only piece of legislation in the coming weeks. The Senate leader is calling the bluff of conservative senators, like Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have called out leadership for not repealing Obamacare before moving on to a replacement.
With only a slim 52-seat majority in the Senate and some 11 Republican senators expressing unwillingness to vote yes, McConnell saw no path forward for repeal and replace. The Senate majority leader needed to obtain at least 50 Republican votes, with Vice President Mike Pence acting as the tiebreaker.
Despite the number of Republican defections, McConnell announced Tuesday the Senate will move forward on the motion to proceed on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
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