“At the core of this agenda is repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare.”
President Trump, moving to put his legislative agenda back on track after weeks of inaction, met at the White House with the Republican congressional leadership.
“If Congress doesn’t act to save Americans from this Democrat-inflicted catastrophe, next year is going to get worse, a lot worse,” President Trump said.
The president wants to get the Senate chugging away on the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants it put to a vote by the end of June.
“What’s clear is that we have to act. Otherwise, more Americans will be stuck paying the price of Obamacare’s continuing failures,” Sen. McConnell said.
The White House is hoping to have it all buttoned up by the August recess – despite zero support from Democrats.
“Our colleagues constantly remind us that Obamacare didn’t work because it was done by one party. But now they’re letting Trump lead them to do the same thing on just about every major issue,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
More and more Republicans are becoming concerned that a major hindrance to the president’s legislative agenda is his incessant use of Twitter. Listen to Senator McConnell just minutes before meeting with the president:
“I can only say what I’ve said before: I’m not a fan of the president’s tweets, and that still remains my view,” Sen. McConnell said.
Add to that what Senator Bob Corker said:
“Probably, it’s best to refrain from communicating with 140 characters on topics that are so important,” Sen. Corker said.
The president dismissed any notion of backing off, tweeting:
“The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.”
The press secretary said, “Why quit?”
“And I think his use of social media, he now has a collective total of close to 110 million people across different platforms, gives him an opportunity to speak straight to the American people, which has proven to be a very, very effective tool,” Sean Spicer said.
“Using it and using it wisely can be two different things.”
“Right, and I think the same people who are critiquing his use of it now critiqued it during the election. And it turned out pretty well for him then,” Spicer said.
What’s unclear is whether the president’s tweet-storms are merely presidential musings or if they reflect official policy. White House Aide Sebastian Gorka suggested the former.
“It’s not policy. It’s not an executive order. It’s social media. Please understand the difference,” Gorka said.
But Spicer said it’s definitely the latter.
“The president is the POTUS. They’re considered official statements by the POTUS,” Spicer said.
Some Republicans believe healthcare reform won’t get done this year. The easier lift to them is tax reform. The White House hopes to have legislation on tax reform hammered out by Labor Day.
The ultimate goal is tax reform that doesn’t add to the deficit -- but White House officials say the top priority is enacting tax cuts they believe will spur the economy.