Trump Once Again Blames Mystery Hospitalized Senator For Repeal Failure

President Donald Trump give the thumbs-up as he walks from Marine One across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, as he returns from Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump said once again Thursday that the Senate would be able to pass an Obamacare repeal bill but for the missing vote of one hospitalized senator — despite the fact that no senators are currently hospitalized, and even with one extra vote in support of the measure, fewer than 50 senators would support it.

On Wednesday, the office of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) corrected Trump multiple times: The senator was not in the hospital, they said, but rather at home recovering from treatment “for a urological issue.”

Still, Trump asserted again on Thursday morning that “we have the votes” to repeal Obamacare, but that a hospitalized senator had halted the effort to pass the legislation with a simple 50 votes by Friday using reconciliation.

“So we don’t have enough time, because we have one senator who’s a ‘yes’ vote, a great person, but he’s in the hospital,” he told “Fox & Friends'” Pete Hegseth. “And he’s a ‘yes’ vote. So we can’t do it by Friday.”

The White House did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) in opposing the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal Obamacare, effectively ending Republicans’ most recent effort.

Since then, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) criticized the “lousy process”  by which the legislation was rammed through the Senate, and one of the bill’s co-authors, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), said of his recent focus on health care: “Well, I’ve been doing it for about a month. I thought everybody else knew what the hell they were talking about, but apparently not.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: