Trump blasts Obama, McConnell for ‘unconstitutional’ move to defund Obamacare
President Donald Trump ripped his Republican allies Tuesday for “unconstitutional” move to undermine the Affordable Care Act, calling the move a “total betrayal” of the Republican Party and calling on them to immediately repeal and replace it.
Trump said in a statement that he and the Republicans in Congress are “fighting tooth and nail to restore and protect the health and well-being of Americans,” as the GOP-led Congress tries to push through legislation to keep insurers from providing coverage to more than 13 million Americans.
But he also suggested that the GOP is “going to lose.”
“The Democrats are putting us back into a situation that we’ve never seen before,” Trump said.
“The Republicans are not doing their job.
We are fighting tooth and nail to restore, protect and expand this wonderful health care system for the American people.
We have a chance now, and we’re going to fight tooth and nails to do it.”
Trump said Democrats have “tried to take this opportunity to strip away the ACA.
We’re going into it like it’s nothing.”
The president and his allies are using the budget reconciliation process, a special budget-writing tool that allows Congress to pass legislation without the threat of a filibuster, to try to force through a measure to repeal the law.
The White House argues that it’s the Republicans’ job to pass an ACA replacement that would keep millions of Americans insured, and that any replacement would be much better.
The GOP’s efforts have so far been fruitless, and Trump said Tuesday that the party has to find a way to work with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.
“I’ve been saying for the last week that I’d rather have Democrats in Congress than Republicans in the White House, but if they’re willing to compromise, I’ll do that,” Trump told reporters.
“We can’t have a shutdown.
We can’t do that.”
Trump’s criticism came after Democrats passed a budget resolution in the House of Representatives last week to keep insurance companies from offering plans to low-income people and a separate measure in the Senate to keep subsidies for people earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
Democrats had argued that the subsidies would help them avoid a shutdown and said the Republicans had no plans to replace the subsidies with an insurance plan.
The Senate also passed a spending bill, which also included a $1.5 trillion aid package to the state of Virginia.
The legislation includes $716 billion for Medicaid expansion and $5 billion for emergency funding for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Both chambers of Congress will meet again next week to pass a continuing resolution.
The House has been dealing with a growing national debt that has reached nearly $19 trillion.
Trump told The Associated Press Tuesday that he has “zero patience” for the Democrats’ “reckless” attack on the ACA, which Trump said is “not working.”
“You’re going crazy, folks,” Trump, 70, said.
He said he would try to convince Senate Democrats to pass the spending bill “as soon as possible” but that it was important to get a bill passed to help Americans who are being hit by the rising debt.
“If they don’t pass that, they have no credibility whatsoever,” Trump added.
“And it’s not my responsibility to do anything about it.
It’s their problem.”
Trump also accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of “stealing” from Republicans on health care and said Schumer has no credibility to lead the Democratic Party.
“It’s really hard for us to believe that Senator Schumer would want to take on the responsibility of leading the Republican party and not leading the Democratic party,” Trump tweeted.
“He’s not going to have any credibility to be leader of the Democratic wing of the party.”
Trump was also asked about Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has been a vocal critic of the GOP health care bill.
“She’s been an enemy of the Democrats for a long time, but it’s clear she’s been making a decision to back off,” Trump quipped.
Collins and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are leading the push for a government-run insurance program, and Collins has said she will not vote for the measure.
Trump, who campaigned against Democrats for taking away health insurance from people with preexisting conditions, said Tuesday the Republicans should “go after the Democrats” and “go on offense.”
“This is a total betrayal of the American voter and it is a disgrace,” Trump wrote.
“They’re using their votes to give us a political advantage, and now we have the chance to repeal Obamacare.
That’s the way it should be.”
The Republican Party is the largest single political force in the country, with more than 24 million members.
It holds power in Congress, governorships and statehouses.
It is the second-largest political party in the U.S. behind the Democratic National Committee.
The party was founded in 1865 by John C. Fremont, a New York Republican who later became