White House Shifts Into Damage Control Mode
Although President Donald Trump publicly blames Democrats for the bill's defeat, behind the scenes some place the blame elsewhere. "This is 100 percent a Ryan failure," one senior administration official says. Others though downplay any tension between the two men.
White House Launches Damage Control After Health Bill Collapses
Damage control was underway at the White House even before the Obamacare repeal bill was pulled from the House floor Friday afternoon, an effective waving of the white flag on one of Republicans’ top priorities. And as the White House sought to prevent any blame from landing on Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged as a prime target. (Nussbaum and Palmeri, 3/24)
Trump Blames Democrats For GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Says ObamaCare Is 'Imploding'
President Trump said Friday the White House “learned a lot about loyalty and the vote-getting process” following the dramatic failure of a Republican-backed bill that would have made good on a campaign promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Trump said House Republicans were 10 to 15 votes shy of getting the bill passed and blamed the defeat on Democrats. House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the bill minutes before a vote was to take place as it became apparent there was not enough support for passage. Democrats were united against it, and a conservative bloc of Republicans were unmoved by 11th-hour negotiations. (Chakraborty, 3/24)
Trump Praises Ryan On Health As Aides Privately Blame The Speaker - Bloomberg
Behind the scenes, though, the president’s aides blame Ryan for the bill’s embarrassing defeat, which stymied a Republican goal for more than seven years, a senior administration official said. Asked whether Trump, Ryan, or the Freedom Caucus chairman, North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows, would be most to blame if the bill fails, the administration official said Ryan. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations. (Jacobs and Pettypiece, 3/24)
The New York Times:
Trump The Dealmaker Projects Bravado, But Behind The Scenes, Faces Rare Self-Doubt
President Trump, the author of “The Art of the Deal,” has been projecting his usual bravado in public this week about the prospects of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Privately he is grappling with rare bouts of self-doubt. Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans. (Thrush and Haberman, 3/23)
Trump's Retreat On Health Care Deals A Blow To The Rest Of His Agenda
The gambit was straight out of a corporate deal-maker’s playbook: President Donald Trump told House Republicans that it was now or never to repeal and replace Obamacare and demanded a vote by Friday. No more negotiations. It was a bluff, and a stubborn band of Republican lawmakers called him on it. Now Trump’s been struck with a humiliating defeat on his first major legislative test, and it’s a body blow that calls into question whether he can move his agenda through Congress, including proposals on tax reform and infrastructure spending that helped propel a stock market rally since his election. (Pettypiece and Jacobs, 3/24)
White House Complains Pro-Trump Group MIA On Health Bill
Amid the biggest policy showdown of Donald Trump’s presidency, top White House aides are perplexed that an outside group created to boost him at such critical junctions was missing in action. The pro-Trump nonprofit, America First Policies, has been gripped by its own internal headaches as two of the six announced members of its leadership team have left in recent days, according to two officials involved with the group. (Goldmacher, 3/24)