The Latest: Trump aide says health bill can still be revived

The Latest on the Republican effort to repeal the Obama health law (all times EDT):

3:45 p.m.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short says it’s not “too little, too late” when it comes to reviving the Republican health care bill.

Short spoke after Trump hosted Senate Republicans for lunch for more than an hour-and-a-half Wednesday.

Short says there was “a general enthusiasm” in the room for recognizing that reforming health care “is not something we can walk away from.” He says Trump urged senators not to leave town for August recess until a deal is done.

Trump’s comments come after the latest GOP health care plan collapsed in the Senate. Trump has launched a last-minute effort to revive it.

Short says Trump would prefer the Senate pass its plan to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” but says he’ll accept a repeal-only plan if necessary.


2:45 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has every expectation that Republicans will be able to begin debate on repealing the health care law next week.

McConnell made the comments to reporters after a White House lunch with President Donald Trump. McConnell said the Senate will hold a procedural vote next week on moving ahead on a straight-up repeal of Barack Obama’s health care law.

In the meantime, Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday evening working with senators.

Trump invited all senators to the White House where he pressured them to act on the legislation before leaving Washington for the August recess.


1:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump says senators shouldn’t leave town for August recess unless they act on legislation to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law.

Trump also says any Republican senator who opposes starting debate on the legislation is saying they are “fine with Obamacare.”

Trump is commenting at the top of a White House lunch with the Senate GOP caucus one day after Republicans derailed a vote on a repeal-and-replace bill.

Trump and Republicans maintain that the current system is failing and must be replaced. But divisions among Republicans have complicated the task.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had delayed the start of the Senate’s August recess by two weeks to give lawmakers time to find consensus on the issue.


8:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says a bill to overhaul the Obama health care law will “get even better” during a White House lunch with Republican senators.

Trump is hosting Republican senators Wednesday after a bill to repeal President Barack Obama’s law collapsed in the Senate this week. Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that GOP senators “MUST keep their promise to America!”

The GOP has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act for seven years.

Trump says “Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime. The Dems scream death as OCare dies!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate would vote early next week on trying to move ahead on a straight-up repeal vote.


4:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is making a last-ditch effort to find some way to revive his party’s seemingly failed efforts on the health care bill. He has invited Republican senators to the White House to discuss a path forward.

Trump stayed largely on the sidelines as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struggled unsuccessfully to round up support to make good on the GOP’s years of promises to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

But with McConnell’s third and final effort — on a repeal-only bill — looking like it, too, had collapsed, Trump urged McConnell to delay a make-or-break vote until next week.


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