Trump Urges Senate GOP To Ditch Filibuster After ACA Repeal Failure

President Donald Trump speaks during a joint news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP
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President Donald Trump’s armchair quarterbacking of the Obamacare repeal-and replace-process seem to have hurt more than it helped, but that doesn’t mean he’s giving up.

In a fusillade of Saturday morning tweets, Trump urged the Republican Senate to abolish the filibuster rule and stop “wasting time” on healthcare and other legislative matters.

“Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW! It is killing the R Party, allows 8 Dems to control country,” Trump wrote in the first of five tweets, telling congressional Republicans that they “look like fools.”

The President’s complaints ignore the fact that the GOP-controlled Senate only needs 51 votes to pass a healthcare replacement through reconciliation. They most recently failed to reach that threshold in the early hours of Friday morning, when Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and John McCain (R-AZ) voted against what became known as the “skinny repeal” bill.

Trump’s arguments also elide the fact that he claimed, after the latest legislative failure, that he “said from the beginning” that the GOP should simply let Obamacare “implode.” Since taking office, the President has toggled between arguing that the Senate must take urgent action and insisting that Obamacare should be allowed to fail, forcing Democrats to work on a replacement.

Congressional Republicans appear exasperated with his aggressive tactics and failure to market their replacement to American voters.

Murkowski was unswayed by Trump’s personal attacks against her this week, while those attacks, and his impromptu decision to ban transgender people from the military, reportedly incensed McCain, who ultimately cast the deciding vote on so-called “skinny repeal.”

“It’s time to move on” from healthcare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced after this week’s defeat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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