Jul 19, 2017

White House: Trump won't give up on health care bill

Andrew Harnik / AP

White House policy chief Marc Short said Wednesday that the Trump administration is confident they can pass the health bill, and that they are fully committed to repealing and replacing the ACA. He then proceeded to call the GOP holdouts' bluff, "If you're saying that you're not willing to move to the bill... then all of the campaign promises that you made were hollow." HIghlights from the off-camera briefing:

Marc Short:

  • What does Trump want? "His preference is the Senate bill as it is constructed right now," said Short, adding that Trump will not give up if the health bill doesn't pass next week.
  • Timing: "The president encouraged Senators to not leave town until a health care bill is presented to him."
  • Will Trump not support Senators who don't support the bill? "There's not a sense of a veiled threat. The president is pretty direct in his words."
  • On Graham/Durbin DREAM Act: "I think the administration has opposed the DREAM Act and would likely be consistent on that."

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

  • Second Trump-Putin meeting at the G20: "Once again the Russia fever has caught up with the media and everyone ran out and tried to create a story," said Sanders, adding that it's absurd to suggest it was some kind of secret."
  • Length of Trump-Putin meeting: "We weren't following them around with a stop watch. It was a brief conversation and certainly not an hour."
  • Does tax reform have to come after health care? "I don't think it has to wait but that's certainly the preference."
  • Voter fraud commission is based on fact finding: Trump's statement that "millions" voted illegally last year is "an opinion".
  • NAFTA: "Meetings to renegotiate NAFTA will take place in Washington from August 16th-20th."
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