President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, speaks during a meeting with the Republican Study Committee.
Republican leaders plan to bring the American Health Care Act to the floor of the House for a vote next Thursday, and President Trump is now publicly applying his deal-making skills to ensure passage.
“I just want to let the world know, I am 100 percent in favor,” Trump told reporters brought to the Oval Office to see the tail end of his meeting with about a dozen members of the Republican Study Committee. That group of House members includes some who’d been lukewarm about the bill going into the meeting.
Trump claimed to have converted everyone he met with, saying “these folks were mostly no’s yesterday and now every single one is a yes.”
NPR and its member stations has been tracking where members of Congress stand on the health care bill, and several of those in the meeting had already indicated they would vote for it.
But some came in looking for changes to the legislation and changes they got. A senior GOP aide says they won two modifications to the bill during the White House meeting: an optional change to the way states receive Medicaid funding (if they want a block grant instead of federal payments based on per capita enrollment they can) and states would be given incentives to impose work requirements on those receiving Medicaid.
“We had a nice meeting. And we’ve been talking all during the night,” Trump said. “This has been going all night long and we are doing some incredible things.”
Later he added “they are tough,” seeming to imply there had been some negotiating involved.
Afterward, Rep Mia Love, R-Utah, crowed on Twitter about extracting concessions.
But the Republican Study Committee is far from the only constituency within the House GOP that President Trump has to deal with. Moderate Republicans like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla, have announced their opposition, and the changes agreed to by the president are likely to harden that opposition.
And some of the most conservative Republicans, those in the Freedom Caucus, remain unpersuaded.
The House Freedom Caucus still opposes the GOP replacement bill in its current form.
— House Freedom Caucus (@freedomcaucus) March 17, 2017
Justin Amash, R-Mich, turned to Twitter after the president spoke to make it clear not all conservatives had been flipped.
Absolutely not true that conservatives have flipped to yes on the health care bill. It doesn’t repeal Obamacare. It remains a disaster.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 17, 2017