The president said Monday that Republicans urgently need the Arizona senator back in Washington so a plan to repeal and replace the Obamacare law can move forward.
Donald Trump said Monday that Republicans urgently need 'crusty' Arizona Sen. John McCain back in the Senate so a plan to repeal and replace the Obamacare law can move forward.
The president predicted that 'it's going to happen,' despite wavering from several GOP senators including both conservatives and moderates.
'We hope John McCain gets better very soon, because we miss him,' Trump said during an event highlighting his 'Made in America' initiative.
'He's a crusty voice in Washington. Plus we need his vote.'
Donald Trump said Monday that Republicans urgently need the 'crusty voice' of Sen. John McCain back in the Senate so a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare can move forward
McCain, shown last week before his cranial surgery, is expected to be away from work for between one and two weeks
The GOP holds just 52 seats in the 100-member U.S. Senate, meaning that any three defections will derail the legislation.
Two senators, the libertarian-leaning Rand Paul of Kentucky and the centrist Susan Collins of Maine, have already said they see no scenario for 'yes' votes.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the Senate will 'defer' voting on the Better Care Act until McCain returns to Washington.
On Friday a Mayo Clinic doctor removed a large blood clot from a vessel over McCain's left eye, under the skull and near his brain's frontal cortex.
He is expected to be at home in Arizona for at least one week.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that the president has invited a group of unnamed senators to the White House for an evening working session meant to iron out their differences.
'It's a very, very hard time they're having with the Obamacare situation,' Trump said Monday, while predicting that 'we're going to surprise a lot of people.'
'The Republican senators are great people,' he added, 'but they have a lot of different states. Some states need this, some states need that.'
With Vice President Mike Pence standing behind him, the president declared that 'we're getting it together and it's going to happen.'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been forced to put the Republican health care bill on hold until McCain can return
Trump delivered his remarks during a 'Made in America' products showcase at the White House, where he was seen trying on a custom Stetson cowboy hat
'Right, Mike?' he asked.
'Yes sir,' Pence responded.
Trump ended his sentence: 'I think.
'And when it does happen, that will be a big day in America. Believe me. Big day in America.'
Trump ran on a platform of dismantling his predecessor's highest-profile legislative achievement, which he claimed had become a 'disaster' as insurance co-ops failed and underwriting companies fled.
But finding a replacement that could attract majorities in both houses of Congress has proved tough, even though Republicans control the House and Senate.
McConnell tried last week to appease conservatives by adding an amendment allowing insurers to sell bare-bones 'catastrophic coverage' policies as long as they offer at least one other option that would have complied with the Obamacare law.
But the most recent draft also includes some of the Obama-era law's tax increases and offered $70 billion in new subsidy spending to lower premiums, measures sure to please moderates.
For other constituencies, he included $45 billion in new money to fight opioid addiction, along with a provision allowing individual medical insurance buyers to pay with pre-tax dollars.
A group of eight Republican senators – in addition to Collins and Paul – are still vacillating.
McCain is among them.
Governors from their home states could tip the scale in Trump's favor – or doom the bill – depending on their reactions to cuts in Medicaid spending.Read more at dailymail.co.uk