President Donald Trump sent a veiled warning to Republican senators on Tuesday evening, predicting that those who don’t back efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare will face “problems”, The Hill reports.
“For seven years, every Republican running for office promised to repeal and replace this disastrous law. Now they must keep their promise,” Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Youngstown, Ohio.
“The senate is working to not only to repeal ObamaCare but to deliver great healthcare for the American people,” he continued.
“Any senator who votes against repeal and replace is telling America that they are fine with the ObamaCare nightmare and I predict that they’ll have a lot of problems,” Trump added.
Trump has been pushing for Republicans to pass a bill for him to sign, but his first major legislative agenda item has languished in the Senate amid sharp disagreements among GOP lawmakers.
The Senate earlier Tuesday began debate on healthcare legislation, taking a big step toward efforts to repeal ObamaCare after Vice President Pence broke a 50-50 tie.
Two Republicans, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, joined all Democrats in voting against the procedural measure to begin debate on the repeal legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to offer a measure repealing ObamaCare with a two-year delay as well as put forward a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, though neither bill appears to have the votes to pass.
Trump on Tuesday evening pointed to rising premiums in states such as West Virginia, Alaska, Missouri and Pennsylvania in making the case that lawmakers from both parties should act on healthcare reform. “It’s time for Democrats to stop resisting”, Trump said.
Trump admitted Republicans would likely act without Democratic support, saying, “probably we’ll do it ourselves”.