Donald Trump says he is not going to take the blame for the lack of major legislative movement in Congress since he became president.
Claiming to have a “great relationship” with Republican senators, Mr Trump said that not enough was getting done.
“But, we’re not getting the job done, and I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest, they are not getting the job done,” Mr Trump said during a cabinet meeting in the White House.
Mr Trump noted that a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act had not been passed, and that no movement has been made on Capitol hill to pass a tax reform bill. He was not surprised with his former White House adviser Steve Bannon for saying that he wants to establish establishment Republicans in the 2018 midterms, he said, because he was also upset that legislative accomplishments have not piled up.
“We need tax cuts. We need healthcare. Now, we’re gonna get the healthcare done,” Mr Trump later said. “In my opinion, what’s happening is that as we meet, Republicans are meeting with Democrats because of what we did” to end cost-sharing reductions(CSRs).
The President ended CSRs last week through an executive order, leading critics to say that ending those payments — which offset the cost to insurers to provide affordable plans to the poor — to argue that ending them would inevitably force insurers to raise premiums to make up for financial losses.
“Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer — you shouldn’t even mention it,” Mr Trump said. “It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore. It’s ac concept that couldn’t have worked. In it’s best days, it couldn’t have worked.”
Mr trump signed the executive order ending CSRs after months of effort from him and members of Congress to cobble together a healthcare repeal and replace plan that could gain at least 50 votes in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 52-48 edge. Those efforts were thwarted by three Republican senators who have defected fearing major impacts for their constituents.
It was not immediately clear if the House, which succeeded in passing a version of a healthcare repeal bill, would have passed any of the healthcare bills proposed in the Senate. Those bills were often drafted in secret, and pushed for by Republican leadership even before the Congressional Budget Office had time to officials score them, which would note any expected insurance roll losses that would occur, and any additions to the federal deficit that any particular piece of legislation could incur.