Two leading congressional Republicans had seemingly different views on the future of healthcare overhaul from the party — and whether or not Democrats should be cheering the GOP’s inability to bring their to the House floor for a vote last week.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican House whip, told reporters Tuesday that the celebration from Democrats on the American Health Care Act’s failure was coming too early.
“To my Democrat colleagues who were celebrating Friday’s action, I think their celebration was premature because we’re closer today to repealing Obamacare than we’ve ever been before. Surely, even closer than we even were Friday,” Scalise said at a press conference held by House Republican leaders.
Slightly less optimistic was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told reporters on Tuesday that Obamacare was going to stick around.
“I think where we are on Obamacare, regretfully, is where Democrats wanted us to be — with the status quo,” he said.
He continued that he expected Democrats to be pleased about the AHCA’s failure.
“Well it’s pretty obvious we were not able, in the House, to pass a replacement,” McConnell said. “Our Democrat friends out to be pretty happy about that because we have the existing law in place.”
For their part, Democrats did gloat after the GOP could not muster enough votes to pass the AHCA, which became colloquially known as “Trumpcare,” through the House. Disagreements between the conservative and moderate wings of the party, plus House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump’s inability to bring the sides together, led to the bill being pulled from the House floor.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that the decision to pull the bill by Trump and Ryan was “a victory for the American people.”