Oct 23, 2017

Dems aren't negotiating with the White House on health care

No one is currently engaging with the White House on its health care demands. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The Trump administration listed its demands for the Senate's health care bill over the weekend, but that doesn't appear to have reopened negotiations in the Senate — at least among the bill's existing supporters. As it stands, the bill has enough votes to pass the upper chamber.

Sound smart: This is a result of President Trump flip-flopping on the issue so often that members of his own party use it as the punchline of a joke.

"I'm not aware of any Dems negotiating with the White House. We have a bill that has the votes to pass the Senate. A bill that his administration was involved in negotiating. Time to get it done," a senior Senate Democratic aide told me.

Yes, but: The bill, negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, is most likely in a holding pattern until December, when it could get attached to a must-pass spending bill. In that case, negotiations would get more serious closer to the end of the year.

  • p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} "At some point there will be a negotiation between" Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker Paul Ryan, a senior GOP aide told me. "Just because it isn't happening now doesn't mean it won't be happening when it's needed."
  • Murray is still pushing for a quicker timeline. "I certainly hope the Majority Leader will listen to the members on both sides of the aisle who want to see this bill move forward and bring it up for a vote as quickly as possible," she said in a statement.

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