President Trump, congressional leaders to meet for first time to hash out health care overhaul’s future
The president and congressional leaders will meet this week in Washington to hash the fate of the GOP health care bill and try to craft a new strategy for passing the measure as the year winds down.
“We want to start the discussion in a way that allows us to see the best possible path forward,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in an interview with ABC News.
The first meeting between the White House and congressional leadership will be held at the White’s Residence on Tuesday, Sanders said.
Sanders said Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) in recent days over the health care law, but did not specify which of the two leaders was most upset.
Trump has said that the GOP leadership should have taken a hard look at the bill when it was released in January and that they have not done that.
Trump is reportedly still furious about the lack of support from McConnell and Ryan, who both announced they would not support the bill this month, leaving Trump and Democrats in the minority.
“I think that they should have seen the problems,” Sanders said of the Republican leaders, adding that the two had been “pretty silent” on the issue.
Trump has been pushing for the House and Senate to come together on a bipartisan bill that could pass the Senate before the end of the year, though it’s unclear whether the two chambers will take up a bill as soon as the end, as Trump and congressional Democrats are pushing for.
The Trump administration has pushed back on the notion that it’s in a position to negotiate with McConnell and the House Republicans.
“There are no negotiations going on with the Senate right now,” Sanders told ABC News on Monday.
“As far as I know, the House Republican leadership has not even begun to negotiate on a replacement,” she said.
“We have to get to the Senate and we have to have a new legislative strategy, but the Senate has not started to negotiate.”
Sanders said the White has not asked the Senate for any kind of concessions from the Republican lawmakers, but rather, “we want to get a good bill through the House.”