President Donald Trump.AP
President Donald Trump is giving House Republicans an ultimatum: Pass the American Health Care Act on Friday, or Obamacare stays.
Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Budget and Management director, made clear to Republicans on Thursday night that Trump wants a vote Friday and that he is done negotiating on the bill to overhaul healthcare. If it is not passed, the president will move on from the bill, reports said.
The GOP leadership will bring the bill to a vote on the House floor Friday, according to Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur. It is unclear whether it has the votes to pass.
“Disastrous Obamacare has led to higher costs & fewer options. It will only continue to get worse!” Trump tweeted Thursday evening. “We must #RepealANDReplace. #PassTheBill.”
House Republican leaders originally wanted to vote on the AHCA on Thursday, but an impasse with the conservative House Freedom Caucus led them to delay the vote.
Trump, who has been called the “closer” by House Speaker Paul Ryan, met with Freedom Caucus members on Wednesday and Thursday but could not get them to agree to vote for the AHCA.
In fact, some concessions that the White House has been considering for the Freedom Caucus has made moderate members of the GOP waver on the bill. Conservatives have been calling for the AHCA to drop provisions from Obamacare that disallow insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. They have also urged the bill to be scrapped of so-called essential health benefits that set a baseline for the necessary coverage a health insurer has to provide.
Mulvaney, once a member of the Freedom Caucus, reportedly laid down an ultimatum to the GOP members including the Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group at a meeting on Capitol Hill.
As of 8 p.m. ET, 33 House Republicans have said they will not vote for the AHCA, according to the New York Times. Republicans can only afford to have 22 GOP members vote “no” for the bill to pass.