President Donald Trump offered several excuses for the Senate GOP’s failure to move forward a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, including a weak attempt to blame Democrats for the legislation’s downfall, in a series of tweets throughout the morning on Tuesday.
Trump also vacillated on strategies for the Senate as it continues to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, offering no less than three different proposals for the chamber’s next approach between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
The Senate bill fizzled on Monday night with a total of four GOP senators openly opposing the bill. Trump suggested that those Republicans who didn’t back the bill are not “loyal” and also indicated he was disappointed by Democratic senators, who were never on board with Republicans’ plans to repeal the health care law.
He then suggested a new strategy for the Senate: let Obamacare fail before working on a replacement.
This came after a Monday night tweet in which Trump proposed repealing Obamacare now and working on a replacement later, perhaps with the help of Democrats.
Later on Tuesday morning, Trump blamed the Senate’s very small majority for the health care bill’s failure, again trying to pin Republicans’ issues on Democrats.
Trump went on to suggest that Senate Republicans nix the legislative filibuster that allows Democrats to force the Senate to pass bills with 60 votes, rather than a simple majority.
However, nuking the filibuster would not have enabled Senate Republicans to pass their bill. They were working within the reconciliation process for this reason, and weren’t able to lock down even the 50 votes from Republican senators necessary for that process.
Throughout the Obamcare repeal ordeal, Trump has gone back and forth on new strategies as the Senate has struggled to reach consensus on a bill.
The President suggested letting Obamacare “crash & burn” after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delayed a vote on the original Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in late June. Just a few days later, Trump turned around and endorsed a repeal and delay plan in the event that the Senate bill failed.
The President was blindsided by the decision by Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas Monday night to come out against the bill, blocking it from moving forward, according to a report in Politico. He was at a dinner with a few Republican senators, where he was telling them that they would look like “dopes” if they could not pass the legislation, per Politico.
“If the Republicans have the House, Senate and the presidency and they can’t pass this health care bill they are going to look weak,” Trump said, according to an unnamed source who spoke with Politico. “How can we not do this after promising it for years?”