Trump to House GOP: Pass Bill Friday or ObamaCare Stays

He delivers ultimatum ahead of key vote
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2017 12:55 AM CDT
Trump to House GOP: Pass Bill Friday or ObamaCare Stays
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows speaks with the media following a caucus meeting Thursday night.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

"Leverage: don't make deals without it," President Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal—and he has now reminded House Republicans how much leverage he has in the fight over ObamaCare repeal. After the setback of a canceled vote on a replacement bill Thursday, Trump issued an ultimatum, warning that he will leave ObamaCare in place and move on to other priorities if the House fails to pass the measure in a vote Friday, the Washington Post reports. Trump ally Rep. Chris Collins tells the Hill that after a closed-door meeting Trump held with the House GOP Thursday night, "there are no more negotiations," and "we have to have a vote tomorrow. He expects it to pass, but he's moving on if for some reason it didn't."

The "repeal and replace" American Health Care Act will fail if 23 Republicans vote against it, and it's still far from clear whether it has the votes to pass amid opposition from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, the AP reports. After Thursday night's meeting, some Republicans said they still planned to vote no, while others said they were still undecided. Asked whether he thought the GOP would be able to come together for the high-stakes vote, Rep. Matt Gaetz said: "I sure hope so, or we'll have the opportunity to watch a unified Democratic caucus impeach Donald Trump in two years when we lose the majority." (Read more American Health Care Act stories.)

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