President Donald Trump turned to Twitter Sunday morning to declare that efforts aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare are still alive.
“Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!” Trump tweeted.
He followed it up by tweeting: “Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.”
Trump has criticized the conservative House Freedom Caucus for foiling efforts last month to pass the American Health Care Act, the bill backed by Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan that would have repealed portions of the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives disparaged the effort as “Obamacare Lite.”
Trump has also attacked Democrats for not backing the bill, predicting that Obamacare will “implode.”
On Thursday, Trump took to Twitter to call out three conservative Republican congressmen. One of them, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, responded Sunday to a possible primary threat from a Trump-backed challenger in 2018 by saying he welcomed competition and wants a health care bill with broader support from the public.
“Congress should be able to put together a piece of legislation that more than 17 percent” of the population likes, Jordan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Tweets and statements and blame don’t change facts,” he said. “It doesn’t repeal Obamacare.”
A more immediate fight before Congress this week is the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) predicted Sunday that Gorsuch will not reach the 60-vote margin needed to overcome a filibuster.
Schumer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump should work with Senate Democrats and Republicans to get a new nominee.
“Look, when a nominee doesn’t get 60 votes, you shouldn’t change the rules, you should change the nominee.”
Republicans are considering changing Senate rules to allow Gorsuch’s nomination to move forward without a 60-vote majority, similar to what Democratic former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did in 2013 for lower court nominees.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted that Gorsuch will be confirmed this week.
“How that happens really depends on our Democratic friends,” McConnell said of the expected Gorsuch vote. “How many of them are willing to oppose cloture on a partisan basis to kill a Supreme Court nominee?”