WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump used a lunch with Republican senators Wednesday to jokingly threaten vulnerable GOP lawmakers who have opposed recent Senate attempts at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The Senate chose to write its own bill rather than amend this House version.
McConnell is focused first on getting the votes he needs to clear a critical, procedural hurdle to begin debating any health care legislation.
Aiming to finally resolve the issue, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he'll force a vote on the legislation early next week.
Media largely failed to cover the debate leading up to this failed legislative attempt, which played out behind closed doors in "almost-unprecedented opacity", leaving audiences in the dark about the consequences and stakes of the proposed bill.
The additional revenue is available because McConnell's bill will now retain two taxes on high-income households that were included in Obamacare to help fund the coverage expansion.
That number would swell to 75% over the next decade. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) health crisis, which appears likely to keep him away from Capitol Hill for some time, and which will make it that much more difficult for Republicans to pull together 50 votes for a regressive and unpopular piece of legislation.
"The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime", the president tweeted.
However, that bill could also fall short, after two more GOP senators defected on Tuesday. After the meeting, senators said that the president emphasized that a repeal must be paired with a replacement plan. Sen.
"We can repeal, but we should repeal and replace and we shouldn't leave town until this is complete", he said". Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Shelley Moore Capito - declared they would not support a motion to proceed to a vote on straight repeal.
"I suspect it'll be anything a senator wants to vote on", he told reporters as he entered his office.