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Trump blames bill’s collapse on ailing senator

President Donald Trump repeatedly said that Republicans can’t bring up a vote to repeal Obamacare because a Republican ‘yes’ vote is ‘in the hospital’ – but the lawmaker he is referring to hasn’t been hospitalized all week.

‘We have the votes for health care. We have one senator who’s in the hospital. He can’t vote because he’s in the hospital,’ said Trump outside the White House Wednesday as he prepared to depart for Indiana.  

‘On healthcare, we have the votes. We can’t do it now because we have somebody in the hospital. We have great respect for that gentleman by the way. He is a fantastic man. He can’t come here and vote. He can’t come here and vote because he’s in the hospital,’ said Trump. 

‘One of our yes votes is in the hospital. I can’t take him out of the hospital,’ Trump insisted.

‘We have the votes for health care. We have one senator who’s in the hospital,’ said President Donald Trump Wednesday, a day after the latest bill collapsed

The president brushed past it when a reporter asked if he was referring to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran – who his staff has said is not in the hospital.  He never said who he was referring to.

According to his office: ‘U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was recently treated for a urological issue and is currently recuperating in Mississippi. The Senator expects to resume his regular work schedule soon.’   

Trump predicted Republicans ‘will have the votes’ for an Obamacare repeal hours after GOP leaders pulled the doomed Graham-Cassidy effort. 

An aide told the Associated Press Cochran wasn’t in the hospital after Trump tweeted about it Wednesday morning, but he kept repeating the claim anyway.

President Donald Trump predicted Republicans 'will have the votes' for an Obamacare repeal hours after party leaders decided not to bring up the Graham-Cassidy bill

President Donald Trump predicted Republicans ‘will have the votes’ for an Obamacare repeal hours after party leaders decided not to bring up the Graham-Cassidy bill

What killed the latest effort was a group of GOP senators who said they weren’t for it. They included Arizona Sen. John McCain, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. 

Trump also referenced changes in process, new talks with Democrats, and new executive orders coming.

‘We will do the block grants, we will do the health care, we will get the longer process for the couple people that did want to see more process even though they’re a yes vote,’ Trump said, in a possible reference to Republicans who complained about the lack of hearings or ‘regular order.’

According to his office: 'U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was recently treated for a urological issue and is currently recuperating in Mississippi. The Senator expects to resume his regular work schedule soon

According to his office: ‘U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was recently treated for a urological issue and is currently recuperating in Mississippi. The Senator expects to resume his regular work schedule soon

The president once again raised his complaints with the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass controversial legislation – although the GOP was unable to muster a simple majority to pass Graham-Cassidy after the defections from their own party.  

‘We will have the votes for Healthcare but not for the reconciliation deadline of Friday, after which we need 60. Get rid of Filibuster Rule!’ Trump wrote.

Friday was the last day when the party could move legislation under procedures carved out by expiring special ‘reconciliation’ rules. 

President Trump said the GOP had 'one Yes vote in the hospital'

President Trump said the GOP had ‘one Yes vote in the hospital’

He said 'we will have the votes' but not in time for a Friday deadline that would have allowed repeal to pass on a simple majority

He said ‘we will have the votes’ but not in time for a Friday deadline that would have allowed repeal to pass on a simple majority

Trump also made another optimistic prediction about the vote count, without revealing his evidence.  He said there were ‘positive signs’ from Alaska, a reference to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who wavered on the bill, even as changes got made to shore up rural states like Alaska that were set to lose millions through Medicaid changes.

‘With one Yes vote in hospital & very positive signs from Alaska and two others (McCain is out), we have the HCare Vote, but not for Friday!’ he wrote.  

The Senate won’t even vote on Republicans’ latest effort to repeal Obamacare, GOP leadership announced Tuesday. 

The Graham-Cassidy bill was already at death’s door Monday night following the decision of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to not support the measure after seeing a preliminary Congressional Budget Office score, which suggested ‘millions’ of Americans would lose their health insurance. 

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (pictured), and Bill Cassidy, R-La, authored the Republicans' most recent attempt to kill Obamacare, but with three definite no votes, the legislation looks like it will fall short if it does go to a vote in the US Senate

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. (pictured), authored the Republicans' most recent attempt to kill Obamacare, but with three definite no votes, the legislation looks like it will fall short if it does go to a vote in the US Senate

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (left), and Bill Cassidy, R-La. (right), authored the Republicans’ most recent attempt to kill Obamacare, but with three definite no votes, the legislation was left for dead

But on Tuesday, to avoid a second health care-related embarrassment on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., decided during a lunch with GOP lawmakers to put the final nail in the coffin – at least for now.

‘We don’t have the votes,’ Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., the bill’s co-author, told a horde of reporters on Capitol Hill after the weekly luncheon. ‘We’ve made the decision since we don’t have the votes, we will postpone that vote.’  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., decided against scheduling a vote for Graham-Cassidy with three Republicans saying they wouldn't vote for the bill and a handful of others on the fence 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., decided against scheduling a vote for Graham-Cassidy with three Republicans saying they wouldn’t vote for the bill and a handful of others on the fence 

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced last night she would vote against the Graham-Cassidy measure, citing the findings of a preliminary Congressional Budget Office report 

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced last night she would vote against the Graham-Cassidy measure, citing the findings of a preliminary Congressional Budget Office report 

Both President Trump (pictured) and House Speaker Paul Ryan vented frustrations Tuesday that the GOP-held Senate couldn't get an Obamacare repeal bill done

Both President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (pictured) vented frustrations Tuesday that the GOP-held Senate couldn't get an Obamacare repeal bill done

Both President Trump (left) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (right) vented frustrations Tuesday that the GOP-held Senate couldn’t get an Obamacare repeal bill done 

On Friday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced that he wouldn't be voting for the Republicans' latest health care measure

On Friday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced that he wouldn’t be voting for the Republicans’ latest health care measure

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the first GOP senator to announced he was a solid no vote, saying he felt the Graham-Cassidy bill wasn't a true repeal of Obamacare 

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the first GOP senator to announced he was a solid no vote, saying he felt the Graham-Cassidy bill wasn’t a true repeal of Obamacare 

McConnell came out and said the caucus would be turning to tax reform, as President Trump is expected to release his plan tomorrow. 

However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the other co-author, promised Republicans would turn their attention back to health care once that’s through. 

‘To the leader, thank you, it’s complicated, it’s difficult politics, instead of quitting you allowed us to move forward and, oh my God, how far we’ve come in such a short period of time,’ Graham said. 

Graham and Cassidy publicly announced their plan for the bill, to block grant Obamacare funds to the states, in July after the Republicans’ ‘skinny’ Obamacare repeal effort didn’t work out. 

The duo had been working to get support for it since, knowing they had to contend with a September 30 deadline in order to use the Senate’s reconciliation rules, which would allow them to pass it with only 51 votes.  

‘There are 50 votes for the substance, there are not 50 votes for the process,’ Graham told reporters today, as lawmakers including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who announced his intention not to vote for the bill on Friday, protested that the bill was being rushed.

After McConnell’s decision was announced today, McCain tweeted, ‘Now let’s return to regular order – hearings, open debate and amendments.’  

Pulling the bill will surely rile up President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had already pooh-poohed the Senate Republicans’ effort earlier Tuesday.

‘We were very disappointed by a couple of senators, Republican senators, I must say,’ President Trump told reporters from the White House, dubbing them ‘so-called’ Republicans as well.  

‘We were very disappointed that they would take the attitude that they did,’ Trump added. 

The president was referring to Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., McCain and Collins, who were the three on-the-record no votes, though several senators suggested there may be more.  

At his own presser across town, Ryan seemed dismayed. 

‘Well, obviously in the House, we’re a little frustrated because the House has done its job, we passed our health care bill last May,’ he said. ‘So yes we’re a little frustrated that the Senate has not acted on a seminal promise health care, which, by the way, Obamacare is collapsing.’ 

House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives with only one vote to spare. 

No Democrats voted in favor of their bill and 20 of their own members voted nay. 

In the Senate, where Republicans have an even slimmer majority, the road to passage would have been even more narrow, with the GOP only able to afford two defections in what would have been a party-line vote.

Paul was the first senator to indicate he wasn’t interested in voting for the bill, saying it didn’t do enough to repeal Obamacare. 

Then came McCain on Friday and Collins Monday night.   

A number of senators had also expressed that they were on the fence including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas – who also outed Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, as a maybe – and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.  

Before McConnell’s decision was announced, Trump said, ‘there will be a repeal and a replace.’ 

From the podium Tuesday, Graham also said he wasn’t ready to let it go.   

‘It’s not if, it’s only a matter of when,’ the South Carolina senator said to the bemusement of reporters who knew Republicans didn’t have the votes. 

‘We’re coming back to this after taxes,’ Graham also vowed. ‘We’re going to take this show on the road,’ he said.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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