Politics

GOP Senators Should ‘Demand’ New Health Care Vote, Trump Says

President shifts stance on next step for second time in 24 hours

President Donald Trump, seen here with Republican senators at a White House meeting in June, is demanding they try again on health care. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump spent a grey and sometimes rainy Saturday at the White House on a Twitter binge, firing off a late-afternoon tweet instructing Republican senators to demand another vote on a measure that would repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

In the morning, the president threatened lawmakers’ health insurance and attacked members of his own party, saying they “look like fools” because they cannot pass major bills.

Trump had some different advice for Republican senators later in the day, amid talk from both sides of the Senate chamber about working through the relevant committees to craft a possible bipartisan health care overhaul: Don’t be quitters. Try again.

“Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!” the president tweeted.

A bill that would have partially done that, but mostly would have set up a conference with the House, failed in the wee hours of Friday morning when Arizona Sen. John McCain shocked the political world by joining fellow Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting against a Republican “skinny” repeal bill.

Trump’s tweet was yet another new stance from him on just what he wants the next step to be on health care.

On Friday, during a speech to law enforcement officials in New York, the president — in a rambling address about a wide range of things on his mind — suggested McCain’s dramatic vote would clear the path to an idea he has long seemed to favor over all others.

“I said from the beginning, ‘Let Obamacare implode and then do it.’ I turned out to be right,” Trump said Friday.

But just over 24 hours later, the president once again appeared to have changed his mind.

Trump has been visiting his golf club in nearby Sterling, Virginia, on most weekends that he is in Washington. Saturday’s rainy weather and unseasonably cool temperatures kept him at the executive mansion, but apparently with his phone handy.

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