A defiant President Donald Trump rallied support for the House’s Obamacare repeal and replacement bill, predicting that the bill will “go back and forth” in Congress but that the end result will be “great.”
Trump pressed his case with a friendly crowd at a campaign-style rally in Louisville. The audience roared as Trump touted the GOP’s health care bill as an opportunity to end the “Obamacare catastrophe.”
“This is our long awaited chance,” he said. “We’re gonna do it. What’s the alternative?”
While Trump did tackle healthcare legislation, he did not comment on another major story in Washington: FBI Director James Comey’s Monday testimony in Washington. Comey said the FBI is investigating ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Comey also said there was no evidence to support Trump’s recent claims that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower.
Instead, Trump delivered red meat to a friendly audience. His focus was Obamacare — though it took him about 30 minutes of speaking time to hone in on the subject.
Trump said that many of his other priorities and campaign promises, including tax cuts and tougher trade deals, hinged on getting approval for healthcare:
“We want a very big tax cut but we can’t do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare,” he said.
Trump also seemed to acknowledge that Thursday’s scheduled vote, which will fall on the 7th anniversary of Obamacare’s final approval, will signal the beginning of the process, not the end.
“Remember. We’re going to negotiate. It’s going to go back and forth,” before ultimately passing, Trump said.
He also said that other elements — including efforts to bring down drug prices — will be passed later if they can’t fit into the initial bill.
Drug prices will be “way, way, way down,” he said, even if Congress has to work on separate legislation later.
Trump also used his perch to buck up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky senator spoke before Trump — to a smattering of boos — but Trump called for McConnell to get a “nice hand, ‘cause he’s on our side.”
“We gotta take care of our people right? And he’s got a lot of power for the people of Kentucky!”
Trump then paused and asked McConnell from the stage, “We gonna be okay? Everything okay? We looking good?”