Gingrich On O’Care: Enough Already, It’s Time For Republicans To ‘Perform’

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Informal adviser to the President and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized Republicans for failing to repeal Obamacare on Monday.

Gingrich said “it’s time to perform” and “Congress has to pick doable things.”

Two additional Republicans, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), announced Monday night that they would not support a vote on Senate Republicans’ revised bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, leaving Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) defeated, for now. McConnell announced after Lee and Moran withdrew support that he would attempt to simply repeal Obamacare, without any replacement.

“You have been urging me to be patient,” an exasperated Sean Hannity told Gingrich in an interview. “I’ve run out of patience with these Republicans. They asked for this opportunity.”

“I agree. I agree. I surrender,” Gingrich responded. “We’ve had six months of patience. It’s time to perform. And I agree with you.”

Despite Senate leadership drafting their version of an Obamacare repeal bill in secret, with minimal input even from Republican senators, let alone Democrats, Gingrich urged McConnell to work “faster, more simply” next time.

“You’ve had six months to look at what happened, what worked, what didn’t. It’s like a football team at halftime. It’s like a military operation in the middle of — you’ve got to take steps, you have to learn lessons. I think they’ve got to figure out how to do things faster, more simply.”

“If you can’t pass the gigantic bill, tell me what you can pass,” he added. “But get something done that starts to move us away from Obamacare.”

The former House speaker contrasted the Obamacare repeal effort with what he characterized as the Trump administration’s successes so far: Efforts to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, nominating conservative judges and deregulation.

“I see things moving in the right direction,” he concluded. “But the Congress has got to pick doable things that they can actually get done and not just beat their head against a wall without getting anything done. So I’m on your side.”

“I hope they just heard what you said,” Hannity replied, referring to Republican senators. “If they don’t get it done, they put their own power in jeopardy.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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