After the collapse of the Republicans’ attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act, and before his lunch with GOP senators, President Trump tweeted that lawmakers “MUST keep their promise to America” and vote to repeal the ACA.
The president tweeted that he will discuss how to improve the ACA replacement bill, which died on Monday night after two senators announced their opposition to the bill.
Republicans in the House and Senate struggled to rally every faction of their party around the healthcare replacement bill since they starting working on drafts of the bill earlier this year.
Senate Republicans released an initial repeal and replace bill last month which died quickly after several senators announced their opposition to it, but signaled a willingness to work with their colleagues to improve it.
However, when the GOP leadership released its improved bill, two senators defected leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) with the difficult task of ensuring that the other 50 Republican senators stayed on board.
Some Republicans were hopeful that the threat of being known as the senator that sunk the GOP’s seven year promise to undo the ACA would be enough to keep the requisite 50 senators in line.
On Monday night, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) announced their opposition and officially sank the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace the ACA.
In the following days, Trump expressed his disappointment with the Republicans and attempted to distance himself from the failed effort.
Conservatives were split on whether Congress or the president, whose national approval ratings average around 40% and thus has little political capital to spend in Congressional fights.
Supporters of the president were quick to point out that the Republicans passed several ACA repeal bills under President Obama, knowing that the president would not sign them and that they did not have the numbers in Congress to override a veto.
As of Wednesday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a full repeal, without replacement, of the Affordable Care Act despite not having the votes to pass the repeal bill.