President Donald Trump’s administration is promising two major legislative wins this summer: health care and the 2018 budget.
White House Legislative Affairs director Marc Short said Monday evening that he expects Republicans to pass health care reform and the 2018 budget this summer so that the administration can move on to tax and regulatory reform in the fall, Axios reports. Short was unable to give a timeline on the administration’s other goals, like infrastructure and a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Short said Monday that the administration is looking to repeal and replace Obamacare before the “August recess.” The administration official also said that the text of the Senate’s version of health care reform is mostly written and “pretty far along.”
Doubling-down on a rallying cry for those in support of repealing Obamacare, Short said that the current system is in a state of crisis. He pointed to the fact that insurers are dropping out of the Obamacare marketplace, leaving consumers with fewer options, backbreaking premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs. (RELATED: Insurance Companies Dropping Obamacare Follow A Similar Pattern)
Short’s comments Monday evening stand in stark contrast to some recent comments from Republicans in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are both highly skeptical about the Senate’s ability to pass health care reform.
McConnell is on record in late May saying that he was not sure how to get the 50 votes needed to pass some version of Obamacare repeal in the Senate. The Senate majority leader still said that the “goal” is to get to 50 votes, but he isn’t quite sure how the votes will pan out. (RELATED: McConnell: ‘I Don’t Know How To Get 50 Votes’ On AHCA)
Graham said Monday evening that he thinks it is better to “let Obamacare collapse” rather than trying to continue with this divided repeal effort. “I don’t think we can put it together among ourselves. I’ve always believed let Obamacare collapse,” Graham told reporters.
Staffers are expected to release their proposals for overhauling Obamacare to Senators Tuesday morning. Trump will meet with Republican House and Senate members Tuesday to catch up on the progress of his agendas, specifically on tax reform and health care reform.
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