On Wednesday, speaking to GOP senators at lunch in the White House, President Trump told the lawmakers that they should postpone their August recess and stay in Washington until a plan to repeal ObamaCare is put into effect.
“We shouldn’t leave town until this is complete,” he said. “We should hammer this out and get it done.”
President Trump further stressed that that only a repeal wouldn’t be enough, and that Republicans should effectively replace ObamaCare with a new legislation.
“We can repeal, but we should repeal and replace,” he said.
“Frankly I don’t think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give people great health care,” he continued. “Because we’re close. We’re very close.’’
Trump further claimed that any GOP senator who votes against debating on a healthcare legislation is “fine with ObamaCare.”
The president’s opening comments at the lunch were open to the media and cable television was pretty quick to broadcast them.
At times, Trump seemed to adopt a more scolding tone; reminding lawmakers of the promises they’d made while campaigning. He urged them to fulfill all their campaign promises.
“Any senator who votes against debate says you are fine with ObamaCare,” Trump said.
However, observers feel that some of the publically scolded Republican senators may not like how they’ve been blamed for the healthcare debacle. Many Republican lawmakers believe Trump himself failed to devise a proper strategy with regards to the healthcare proposal.
But, in his comments, Trump took aim at those senators, saying that they could trust him to sign a repeal bill.
“I’ve been here six months,” he stated. “I’m ready to act, pen in hand, believe me. I’m sitting in that office. I have pen in hand. You never had that before.”
Trump has previously shown his frustration with the Senate failing to deliver a much needed win on Trump’s major campaign promise: repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
The Senate, which is slated to begin its recess in the third week of August, failed to push forward a legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare, after a number of senators said that they would vote against debating the bill.
Trump’s comments on Wednesday, expressing his desire to repeal and replace Obamacare seem to have made the whole process even more confusing.
Only a day prior to the lunch at the White House, Trump said that the Congress should relax and “let ObamaCare fail.”
That too, after he took to Twitter on Monday to endorse the repeal-without-replace strategy.
“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” he wrote.
The Wednesday lunch at the White House was only missed by three GOP senators, Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Richard Burr (N.C.) and John McCain (Az.)
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, excused himself from the meeting, saying that he is trying not to interact with the White House due to his panel’s ongoing investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US elections. John McCain was recently diagnosed with cancer after undergoing a minor surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.