Time Not On Trump’s Side

AP
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A new wrinkle in the two main stories happening right now on parallel tracks on the Hill: House Democrats this morning are threatening to bail on a deal to pass a short term spending resolution to avoid a government shutdown IF House Republicans proceed with a quick vote on the revised Obamacare repeal bill.

Why would Democrats want to keep the vote from happening right away?

Moderates Republicans in the House are being bum-rushed to support the newest version of the Obamacare repeal bill. We know many of the moderates are deeply ambivalent about repealing Obamacare, and they are under growing pressure from the White House, leadership and their conservative colleagues to set aside their qualms and just get it over with, in time for Trump to declare a 100 day victory and move on.

Unlike their conservative counterparts in the House Freedom Caucus, the moderates are less cohesive, speak with multiple voices, and have an array of differing political and policy motivations. That makes it much harder for them to act quickly as a group. That’s why proponents of the bill want to rush it through now (also that silly 100 day mark for Trump is Saturday).

The more time before the vote, the harder it is to sustain the pressure on moderates. Moderates – who are wary of gutting pre-existing condition protections, knocking millions off Medicaid, and costing more millions their health insurance coverage – could begin to come together to oppose the bill if given enough time to count votes, develop their messaging and execute a plan.

A quick vote isn’t assured. Nothing is scheduled yet. And to be clear Democrats haven’t really been playing the shutdown game to this point. But it’s clear that the quicker the vote the more likely moderates will fall in line.

More time is not a good thing if you’re Trump.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

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