Even as President Trump publicly taunts those who stand in opposition to the latest attempt to repeal Obamacare and its live-saving protections, within the confines of the Oval Office, White House insiders confirm that the president and his aides are unsure about the bill itself.
Just this morning, Trump called out Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and “whoever votes against Hcare Bill,” on Twitter in an ill-conceived attempt to pressure the Republicans to support the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal, which the Senate will take up next week.
The move backfired immediately as Paul immediately fired off a series of tweets doubling down on his opposition. While Paul’s reaction is an embarrassment for Trump, he apparently is not disappointed about the policy ramifications of losing Paul’s vote and even Graham-Cassidy possible failure.
After speaking with several White House and Congressional aides, Josh Dawsey and Burgess Everett write for Politico that “privately, there’s ambivalence in the White House about [Graham-Cassidy’s] contents and its chances of clearing the tightly divided [Senate] next week.”
The lack of certainty however, is not dissuading the president from going all in however. Dawsey and Burgess add, “Several White House officials described the president as determined to sign something — anything, really.”
This puts Republicans in a precarious position as they need Trump’s bully pulpit to win the support of the party, but the president’s lack of interest in policy has his strategy for winning support backfiring left and right.
Despite his self-proclaimed status as “master of deals,” many Capitol Hill Republicans believe it was Trump’s personal call to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that forced the Republican to vote against the Senate’s failed Obamacare repeal this summer and is likely to keep her a “no” next week.
The president’s ineffectiveness at swaying support for a bill he doesn’t understand — that would rob 32 million Americans of their healthcare, eliminate protections for preexisting protections, end Medicaid as we know it, cause financial ruin for thousands of working families, and lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans — somehow leaves Graham-Cassidy with a very real shot of passing the Senate next week.
Even as Trump’s calls are not having an impact, it is up to the resistance to make calls that do. At least six Senators could vote either way on the horrid Trumpcare bill next week. Call or email yours at 202.224.3121 and tell them lives depend on their firm opposition to Graham-Cassidy.
And so do their jobs.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com