Vice President Mike Pence issued a stern warning to Republicans in Congress Tuesday, imploring them to “do their jobs” and repeal Obamacare.
“Obamacare has failed, and Obamacare must go,” Pence said at a National Retail Federation summit in Washington, D.C. “Congress needs to do their job, and Congress needs to do their job now!”
Pence’s remarks come in the wake of announcements that Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, and Jerry Moran of Kansas are opposing the GOP’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. They join fellow GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, leaving the bill two votes short in the Senate.
With Lee and Moran defecting together, it prevented one lone Senator from casting the definitive “no” vote, killing the bill.
Pence, said “inaction is not an option” and suggested switching strategies.
“President Trump and I fully support the majority leader’s decision to move forward with a bill that just repeals Obamacare and gives Congress time, as the president said, to work on a new health care plan that will start with a clean slate,” he said.
Pence’s remarks reflect a statement President Donald Trump made in a tweet Monday:
“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” Trump tweeted.
Pence mentioned a similar bill in his remarks passed in 2015, introduced by Republican Sen. Jim Jordan and Paul, splitting repeal and replace in two different bills. “[T]he Senate should vote to repeal now and replace later or return to the legislation carefully crafted in the House and Senate” Pence continued.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has begun plans to repeal Obamacare now, and replace it later.
“In the coming days, the Senate will take up and vote on a repeal of Obamacare combined with a stable two-year transition period as we work toward patient-centered health care,” he said.
Some Senate GOP members have already voiced their opposition, but the White House has backed McConnell’s plan.
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