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Long IslandPolitics

Trump, Congress cancel vow to repeal and redo Obamacare at once

President Donald Trump sits in a fire engine

President Donald Trump sits in a fire engine made by Wisconsin's Pierce Manufacturing while kicking off "Made in America" week with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Monday, July 17, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Trumpcare declared DOA

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is now moving for a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay before “replacing” it — which might just happen to kick the effective date of any new and controversial GOP replacement plan past next year’s congressional elections.

McConnell’s late-night surrender Monday came after two more Republican senators bolted from the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare — a development that could send the whole seven-year GOP effort back to square one.

Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas were the latest to say they could not support the measure in its current form. Last week Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine — who had differing objections to the repeal-and-replace bill — said they wouldn’t go along with a procedural vote to advance it.

Trump has shown little to no influence in the intraparty negotiations. Sen. John McCain’s absence for surgery was seen as an additional setback.

Trump tweeted agreement with the idea of repealing now and replacing later.

‘That’s politics!’

Trump on Monday stepped up his Twitter tapping despite a new poll showing Americans are down on his tweeting. Once again he defended his son’s June 2016 meeting with people in the Kremlin’s orbit.

“Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent,” Trump posted just after 10 a.m.

“That’s politics!”

Last year, Trump’s fans cited the notion that he was “not a politician.”

All that Twitters . . .

Hopes of getting anti-Democratic dirt was of course the second explanation the first son offered — after first stating that the Trump Tower campaign-time meeting focused on adoption.

Not to mention, the reported attendance list at this Trump Tower meeting kept growing last week.

Meanwhile 67 percent of those surveyed in a Washington Post/ABC News poll disapproved of the president’s use of Twitter — about as many as those who disapprove of his overall demeanor.

He’s fired up

This president likes to sit in trucks. In March he posed for photos playing in a semi at the White House, which went viral.

For “Made in America” week, he climbed Monday into a big red fire truck on the South Lawn.

“Where’s the fire?” he quipped to Vice President Mike Pence, who stood outside the rig. “I’ll put it out fast.” A bucket truck, a yacht and baseball bats were also arrayed.

Made in America, unless . . .

Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer gave a less than ringing response when asked about products that bear the Trump name but are made overseas.

“With respect to his own companies, obviously it’s inappropriate to discuss how anything would affect their own companies,” Spicer told reporters off-camera.

But he did offer that in some cases “supply chains or scalability” needed by companies like Trump’s might not be available domestically. “There’s certain industries that we don’t do as much anymore.”

The official #MadeinAmerica hoopla drew widespread ridicule on social media.

H2B or not H2B: That WAS the question

Another 15,000 so-called H2B visas for temporary seasonal workers from other countries have been granted by the Trump administration.

Landscaping businesses and resorts have depended on the guest employees. Among them: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

What else is happening:

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed opposition to the Trump-endorsed Russian cease-fire agreement in Syria, citing Iran’s presence on the scene.
  • Goals for renegotiating NAFTA were released by the administration.
  • Departing ethics chief Walter Shaub took a parting shot, saying the Trump administration is making the United States a laughingstock on this issue.
  • The voter commission Trump established has told a federal court it should be allowed to collect the data it requested from states because it’s not an agency subject to privacy laws.
  • Any visitor records kept for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence will be released, says a watchdog group claiming victory in a legal battle.

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