The White House is currently unsure that Republicans have enough votes to pass the GOP health care bill. And for a president who fashions himself a deal-maker, the law has become a potent test of Trump’s ability to make it happen.
“The American people voted for historic change. They also voted for serious action by delivering the House, the Senate and the White House,” Trump said at a National Republican Campaign Committee dinner Tuesday. “The American people gave us clear instructions. it’s time to get busy, get to work and to get the job done.”
He added: “That legislative effort begins with Thursday’s crucial vote and it really is a crucial vote for the Republican party and for the people of the country to finally repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare.”
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“I’m asking for your vote so we can repeal and replace Obamacare and save health care for every family in Iowa and for every family in our great country — so important,” Trump said days before Election Day in Iowa.
And so did House Republicans, who lambasted Obama during his presidency for the health care law and voted over 50 times since 2010 to repeal it.
Trump’s margin in the House will likely be razor thin, whether the bill fails or passes. Nineteen Republicans have told CNN they will flat-out vote against the bill, and seven say they are leaning toward voting “no.” Republican leadership and Trump can only lose 21 Republicans and still win passage.
Trump, after spending weeks largely hands off on the health care bill, has begun to get into the day-to-day sales pitch of the bill.
The president went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning to urge Republicans to back the bill. During the meeting, according to sources inside the room, Trump warned that Republicans could lose their reelection campaigns if they didn’t vote for the bill.
“I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done,” Trump said, according to a source.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer backed those comments
on Tuesday, telling reporters that Republicans who voted against the health care bill “will probably pay a price at home.” Spicer also didn’t rule out Trump campaigning against those Republicans.
“I think they will probably pay a price at home,” Spicer said. “This was a major component in the last election and I think there was not a single Republican member who went out and talked about this.”
Trump called Obamacare a “nightmare” on at the Republican dinner Tuesday night, adding that the Republican bill is merely delivering on promises.
“These are the conservative solutions we campaigned on and these are the conservative solutions the American people asked us as a group to deliver,” Trump said. “We are keeping our promises.”