Top Senate Republicans are urging President Donald Trump to rethink his stance on the bipartisan ObamaCare deal which he has both opposed and praised on several occasions. The two senators, Lindsay Graham and Lamar Alexander, who brokered a bipartisan deal with Democratic Senator Patty Murray, spoke to president Trump about the matter.
Graham notes that in the conversation he had with the president on Wednesday, Trump told him: “I want a deal. I want to get something for this money.”
The bipartisan deal was introduced on Thursday, by Alexander and was supported by 23 other senators. Alexander said he appreciated “the president’s encouragement to create a short-term bipartisan solution and his willingness to consider it.”
Other Republican senators refuted the notion that this bill means they have given up on repeal. Only days after the subsidy payments were canceled by Trump, senators Alexander and Murray negotiated a deal to continue funding these payments for two more years, at the same time giving states more flexibility to get waivers from certain ObamaCare regulations.
It is unclear whether the president would sign the bill, as he has referred to it as both “a good solution” and a “bailout” for big insurers. On Thursday he applauded the deal, though he pointed out that he was seeking only a temporary solution to retaining repeal alive, without insurance companies benefiting from it.
“I respect very much the two senators you’re talking about. I love that they’re working on it. I want them to be careful with respect to the insurance companies. We will probably like a very short-term solution,” Trump said.
However, his indecisiveness regarding the bill has confused and infuriated some Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump is “for the bill one day, against it the next. We can only hope he comes around and grasps what’s in the bill.”
He added that all Democrats are for the bill, while some Republicans have expressed their reservations in supporting it until Trump does so.