President Donald Trump is demanding a vote Friday in the House on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told GOP lawmakers. If the bill fails, Trump is prepared to move on and leave Obamacare in place, Mulvaney warned.
The surprise announcement by the top White House official — made with the full support of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other House GOP leaders — came during a closed-door meeting of Republicans Thursday evening in the basement of the Capitol.
Mulvaney, a member of the House until a few weeks ago who now heads the Office of Management and Budget, said Trump was done negotiating and wanted an up-or-down vote now.
The move by Trump and Ryan is an enormous gamble, setting up a real cliffhanger when the legislation hits the floor on Friday.
All day Thursday, the White House and GOP leaders lacked the votes to pass the American Health Care Act. A loss on the House floor would be a glaring embarrassment for the new president and House speaker — one that could undermine other parts of the GOP legislative agenda, including tax reform.
A victory, on the other hand, would provide not just a shot of badly-needed momentum for both men, but undermine the House Freedom Caucus, the group of conservative hard-liners who’ve fought the GOP health care plan because it doesn’t go far enough.