Republicans in the House say they are very close to having enough votes this week to finally and completely dismantle Obamacare, and the resulting pressure on Republicans to pass Trumpcare 3.0 is enough that party leaders are going all out to secure the votes that they need.
House Republican leaders and White House officials are increasingly confident about passing their long-stalled Obamacare replacement bill: More lawmakers than ever are committed to voting “yes," they say, and GOP insiders insist they’re within striking distance of a majority.
But the window of opportunity for Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team is closing fast. The House is scheduled to leave town for a one-week recess on Thursday, and some senior Republicans worry that failing to get it done by then would fritter away critical momentum. Skittish Republicans would return home to face a barrage of pressure from Democrats and progressive outside groups.
Some senior Republicans and White House officials are advising Ryan (R-Wis.) and his top lieutenants to cancel the recess if needed, and to keep the House in session until they have the votes.
"I think they could have voted on Friday," President Donald Trump said in a Sunday interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" to discuss his first 100 days in office. "I said, 'Just relax. Don't worry about this phony 100 day thing. Just relax. Take it easy. Take your time. Get the good vote and make it perfect.'"
"I think health care reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare is just around the corner,” Vice President Mike Pence added on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think we’re close.”
While Trump and the White House have been overly optimistic before about repealing Obamacare, senior House Republicans agree with them this time.
“We’re very close," Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
All sides agree that right now the Republicans are still short on the votes, and if they don't get it done this week, it might never happen. But that's no reason to relax. If like me you're in a GOP district, it's time to make some phone calls. Thomas Massie is still a no here in NKY, so that's something at least, but we still need a few more no votes to seal this thing in the dumpster.
There are a lot of undecided Republicans out there still. Time to convince them to say no.