Tags: Healthcare Reform | donald trump | graham cassidy | healthcare bill | have the votes | thad cochran

Trump Insists Republicans 'Have the Votes' on Healthcare

(Fox News' "Fox and Friends")

By    |   Thursday, 28 Sep 2017 07:24 AM

The Graham-Cassidy healthcare measure "didn't go down" this week, Republicans "have the votes" to pass it, but there was not enough time to get the legislation approved in time to beat Friday's deadline, President Donald Trump insisted in an interview airing Thursday morning.

"We have the votes," Trump told Fox News' Pete Hegseth, in an exclusive interview recorded Wednesday for Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program. "Reconciliation is a disaster. It ends on Friday. We don't have enough time. We have one senator a yes vote, a great person, he is in the hospital."

But the votes are there, Trump continued, and "we will do it some time at the beginning of the year, but prior to the election in November."

Trump did not name the senator to Hegseth, but on Wednesday made the same reference in a tweet, and according to The New York Daily News, the reference was apparently being made to Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

However, according to a spokesman for Cochran, the senator is not in a hospital but is recovering in Mississippi from a "urological issue" and expects to resume his regular work schedule soon.

Three others, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, however, have said they would not support the measure and Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas, said he had reservations about the bill.

Trump, though, said there are the votes for healthcare, but "the filibuster, you know, if you look at what is going on with respect to timing, we have only until Friday for reconciliation. So we're going into next year. In the meantime, I'm going to start negotiating with Democrats and we will see what's what."

However, it's not a matter of trust when it comes to negotiating with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"I have a nice relationship with them," he said. "It's not really trust. If we can do a great bipartisan healthcare bill I'm okay with that. We have the votes to get it done. You can't go do it when somebody is in the hospital. When you have 52 votes and you need 51, it's, you know, it's very hard to get, because you always have somebody and some cases they will want to grandstand. A lot of bad things happen."

Meanwhile, Trump said he does have a little period of time, and he will negotiate with Democrats.

"If we can come up with a fantastic healthcare bill that's okay for me," said Trump, noting it would be "good for both parties" if the agreement is bipartisan.

Trump, who was interviewed in Indiana, where he launched his tax reform plan Wednesday, told Hegseth that the measure is designed to help "the working people, the people that really haven't been treated right."

"Also it's going to be for businesses, where they are going to bring in jobs," Trump said. "This is a tax plan for jobs and growth. Growth for our country. It will be the largest reduction in terms of dollars of any plan ever in the history of the country. And it's going to be something very special. But it's really for the middle income people. And it's for the working people and it's for jobs."

There are rates and brackets that are non-negotiable, including 20 percent for business.

"The 20 percent is non-negotiable," Trump said. "I wanted to do it 15 percent. This is for business. I wanted to do it 15 percent. You look at China, China is 15 percent. Other countries are at higher. Right now, we are the highest taxed nation in the world."

Trump said when he finishes the plan, "we will be among the lower tax, which is very good. I would like to be the lowest. You can't be the lowest; there are some that are ridiculous . . . I was going to start at 15 and maybe negotiate up to 20, but the numbers really work at 20. We are putting it in at 20 but we are not going to negotiate."

Meanwhile, Trump said he does still have confidence in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, despite the healthcare and other legislation issues.

"I have dealt with Mitch for a long time," Trump said. "I think he has to get rid of the filibuster rule. It's a disaster for the Republican Party because it means you need 60 votes on most pieces of legislation and you are not going to get them."

There are currently 270 bills sitting before the Senate, he continued, but "you are not going to get them approved because you are not going to get eight Democrats. They want to keep this horrible filibuster rule, which says basically you need 60. So that means you need eight Democrats to get something approved. You are not going to get that so they have to get rid of the filibuster rule. Otherwise, they are just making a mistake."

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The Graham-Cassidy healthcare measure "didn't go down" this week, Republicans "have the votes" to pass it, but there was not enough time to get the legislation approved in time to beat Friday's deadline, President Donald Trump insisted in an interview airing Thursday...
donald trump, graham cassidy, healthcare bill, have the votes, thad cochran
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2017-24-28
Thursday, 28 Sep 2017 07:24 AM
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