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President Donald Trump still thinks Senate Republicans can pass an Obamacare replacement plan — but said Wednesday he "will be very angry" if they fail.
In an interview posted by the Christian Broadcasting Network, the president said that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has "got to pull it off." Trump was asked what would happen if Congress cannot muster the support to pass a repeal and replacement plan.
"Well, I don't even want to talk about it because I think it would be very bad. I will be very angry about it and a lot of people will be very upset," Trump told CBN. "But I'm sitting waiting for that bill to come to my desk. I hope that they do it. They've been promising it for years."
The GOP is set to release a revised health-care bill Thursday as it struggles to overcome party divisions on repealing and replacing Obamacare, a critical goal for most of the last decade. At least eight Republican senators oppose the plan as currently written, as the conservative and moderate wings of the party often have competing concerns about it. Republicans can only lose two votes and still pass the bill.
Possible tweaks in the revised bill include keeping some Obamacare taxes and putting more money toward fighting the U.S. opioid crisis and stabilizing state insurance markets. It likely will not change the proposed rollback of Medicaid expansion, which irked key senators in some states that expanded Medicaid coverage.
McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans hope to have a Congressional Budget Office score on the plan by "the beginning" of next week and a motion to bring the bill to the floor by next week.
Still, it is unclear if the revisions will push the Senate Republicans toward the needed 50 votes. The House would also need to approve the revised bill before it could go to the president's desk.
Trump said "it didn't mean anything" when the GOP-controlled Congress passed an Obamacare repeal previously because his predecessor President Barack Obama could veto the bills. Trump also made a reference to the GOP passing a repeal plan when it "had the minority" in Congress, though it was unclear to what time period he was referring. Republicans have held the House since 2011 and the Senate since 2015.
"Now we have a president that's waiting to sign it. I have a pen in hand so now it means something," Trump said.
The president has applied pressure to Senate Republicans to coalesce behind a bill, though his influence has seemed smaller than it was when the House passed a largely similar Obamacare replacement bill in May. The House overcame divisions within the party to narrowly approve the bill with last-second amendments.