With House Republicans said to make another push to pass Obamacare, perhaps as soon as next week according to a Bloomberg report, some have speculated whether Trump will engage democrats this time to assure at least a few votes from across the aisle.
Overnight, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan poured cold water on the idea, saying he does not want President Donald Trump to work with Democrats on overhauling Obamacare.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” that will air on Thursday and which was previewed by Reuters, Ryan said he fears the Republican Party, which failed last week to come together and agree on a healthcare overhaul, is pushing the president to the other side of the aisle so he can make good on campaign promises to redo Obamacare.
“I don’t want that to happen,” Ryan said, referring to Trump’s offer to work with Democrats.
Carrying out those reforms with Democrats is “hardly a conservative thing,” Ryan said, according to released interview excerpts. “I don’t want government running health care. The government shouldn’t tell you what you must do with your life, with your healthcare,” he said.
On Tuesday, Trump told senators attending a White House reception that he expected lawmakers to reach a deal “very quickly” on healthcare, but he did not offer specifics. “I think it’s going to happen because we’ve all been promising – Democrat, Republican – we’ve all been promising that to the American people,” he said. Trump said after the failure of the Republican plan last week that Democrats, none of whom supported the bill, would be willing to negotiate new healthcare legislation because Obamacare is destined to “explode.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Bloomberg, two Republicans said that leaders are discussing holding a new Obamacare repeal vote next week. The ray of hope for Trump and Ryan is that members of the Freedom Caucus, which was instrumental in derailing the bill, have been talking with some Republican moderate holdouts in an effort to identify changes that could bring them on board with the measure.
A renewed attempt to pass Obamacare repeal would come after President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress said they would move on to issues like a tax overhaul in the wake of last week’s drama, when the long-awaited bill was pulled 30 minutes ahead of a scheduled floor vote. Asked if the GOP health bill will come up again, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “Yes. As soon as we figure it out and get the votes.”
Quoted by Bloomberg, Kevin McCarthy said nothing is currently scheduled and didn’t indicate how leadership would resolve divisions between the Freedom Caucus and moderates in the so-called Tuesday Group. “Lot of people are talking,” he said. “Lot of people are working.”
For now, it is nothing but noise.