Following the latest defeat of Senate Republican leadership’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, an anonymous Republican Senator has leaked some damning info to the New York Times that may, in fact, help explain why TrumpCare isn’t getting off the ground.
The New York Times reports:
‘A Republican senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wanted to preserve his relationship with Mr. Trump, put it more bluntly. The president, he said, scares no one in the Senate, not even the pages.’
Who is this Senator, and can we try and pressure him into joining the efforts to torpedo the Trump Administration, if he’s not already in on it?
Other officials have expressed their discontent and distaste for Trump as well.
For instance, Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Ron Johnson presently refuses to support the Republicans’ health care plan, even though Trump has tried to woo him over to his side. The recently re-elected Republican Senator simply does not care. The New York Times writes that Johnson “reminded one associate recently [that] while Mr. Trump may have stunned the political world in 2016 by winning Wisconsin in the election, Mr. Johnson got 76,000 more votes in the state.”
Other points of opposition to Trump among members of the Senate are less direct than Johnson’s reported comments. For instance, the Senate’s version of TrumpCare was sunk not by a traditionally moderate Senator like, say, Susan Collins. Rather, it was sunk by the strong conservative Jerry Moran of Kansas, leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s team “stunned.”
Political strategist Rob Jesmer, who once served as a top aide to Senator John Cornyn of Texas, summed up Trump’s inability to hold sway with Republican Senators bluntly, saying:
‘Right now, nobody’s afraid of Trump, and that’s a real problem. But the truth is that he hasn’t really tried. Where is he on local talk radio? Where is the trip to Kansas to say, ‘Hey, Jerry, we’re really close on this and could use your help’? It’s what he does well, getting out there and making the case. I don’t get why he hasn’t been more engaged.’
The president has tried to use “force” with Republican Senators to get them to support TrumpCare, but it hasn’t worked. Most recently, Trump fired off a “barbed joke” at Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller, suggesting that he would seek to undercut Heller in his bid for re-election if he didn’t come around and start supporting the Republicans’ health bill.
During a Wednesday White House meeting, Trump said to Heller:
‘You weren’t there. But you’re gonna be. You’re gonna be. Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he? And I think the people of your state, which I know very well, I think they’re gonna appreciate what you hopefully will do. Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you’re fine with Obamacare.’
Sen. McConnell plans to hold a “make or break procedural vote” on starting debate on the Senate healthcare bill next week. As Trump continues to try and get Republican Senators to come over to his side, remember that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that over twenty million people will eventually lose their health coverage under TrumpCare.
Featured Image via Michael Reynolds/Pool via Bloomberg