President Donald Trump called out Senate Republicans on Saturday, once again calling on them to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.
In two social media posts made on Twitter, Trump said the Senate “must step up to the plate” and “Repeal and Replace” Obamacare.
“The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!” Trump wrote on Saturday.
The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
Trump also criticized Democrats, who he called “obstructionists” with “no ideas or votes.”
“ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction,” Trump wrote. “It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators!”
ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction. It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
Trump’s comments come at the end of a week in which the Republicans’ latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act was effectively killed by Republican Sens. Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Mike Lee (Utah) and the Senate leadership’s back-up plan — a repeal of Obamacare without an immediate replacement plan — was shot down by several moderate Republicans.
On Wednesday, Republican senators met with Trump in a meeting in which Trump reportedly heavily criticized the senators for failing to come up with a plan. During the lunch meeting, which included 49 senators, Republicans were told they needed to swiftly develop a proposal that could pass both houses of Congress, reported Reuters on Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, the senators met to resolve their differences, but a resolution failed to materialize during the meeting, which Reuters reported did not include Senate staff.
The Washington Examiner reported on Saturday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still plans to hold a vote next week, regardless of what several senators have been saying about voting against the proposed legislation.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Monday that he and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) will be voting against the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal and replace bill. Senator Lee will be joining Glenn Beck on his radio show Tuesday morning to explain his opposition.
He made the announcement from his official Twitter account.
My colleague @JerryMoran and I will not support the MTP to this version of BCRA #HealthcareBill
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 18, 2017
The Senate version of the bill, called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” will not pass a critical procedural vote without these two crucial votes, since Republican senators Rand Paul (Ky.) and Susan Collins (Maine) have already announced their intention to oppose the bill. This means that the bill in its current form is likely dead.
“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment,” Lee said in a statement, “I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act.”
“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
Sen. Moran also posted his opposition to the bill to his Twitter account.
My colleague @SenMikeLee and I will not support the MTP to this version of BCRA. #HealthcareBill
— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) July 18, 2017
For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one. #HealthcareBill
— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) July 18, 2017
“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran said in a statement. “Furthermore, if we leave the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions, it is more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase.”
The Republicans were able to narrowly pass a version of Obamacare repeal and replace in the House of Representatives, but the Senate GOP decided to start from scratch and draft their own bill.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have announced they won’t support the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans’ plan to replace Obamacare. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), citing improvements in the latest draft of the bill and the inclusion of a modified version of the Cruz-Lee Consumer Protection Option, has indicated he will vote for the BCRA.
With most of the Senate having already made up its mind on the legislation, conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) remains as one of the few who have yet to weigh in, posting on Twitter on Thursday he’s “withholding judgment” on the newest version of the legislation.
I am withholding judgment and look forward to reading it. 2/2
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 13, 2017
If Lee chooses to join Paul, who has announced he can’t support this version of the legislation because it keeps too much of Obamacare in place, and Collins, who isn’t voting for the BCRA because she believes there are too many cuts to government funding, then the bill will effectively be dead, regardless of whether other Republicans stand.
On Thursday, when the latest draft of the BCRA was released, it appeared to many as though the addition of the modified Cruz-Lee amendment would be enough to sway both Cruz and Lee, but Lee quickly announced that he wasn’t nearly as sold as Cruz.
At issue is the modification made to the amendment, which the Senate leadership added to the bill at the last minute after Cruz reportedly approached them with a compromise. The original version of the amendment supported by Lee would have allowed health insurance companies to sell any policies they want so long as they offered at least one policy that complied with most Obamacare mandates, including the pre-existing conditions clause and community-rating requirement, which now forces insurers to sell people of the same age policies at the same price regardless of health status (with only a few exceptions).
Lee and Cruz believe this amendment would make health insurance significantly more affordable for many people without pre-existing conditions while still ensuring those with pre-existing conditions had at least one option to purchase health insurance.
The newest version of the amendment keeps that basic framework intact, but makes one important revision: Rather than allow insurers to put those purchasing Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans (these people will most likely have pre-existing conditions) and those purchasing every other type of plan, many of which would be cheaper than the Obamacare-compliant plans, in two different risk pools, all plans would have to be placed in the same risk pool.
What this means is that insurance prices across both plan types would have to be increased by the same percentage, if an insurer chooses to increase prices at all. While this might seem like a relatively minor issue; it’s not. If insurers are required to increase prices at the same rate, the cost of insuring people with pre-existing conditions will continue to be heavily subsidized by people in the market who have maintained continuous coverage, one of the key reasons health insurance prices have grown so dramatically in recent years. Health insurers would also be forced to apply two totally different models to the same risk pool, which some say would be incredibly difficult and costly to accomplish.
By forcing rates for newer, cheaper plans to increase at the same percentage as Obamacare-compliant plans, insurance companies’ risk would be spread out more evenly amongst consumers of every plan type, allowing people with pre-existing conditions to have access to more affordable plans. However, this model would also make it more likely insurance companies or their competitors would constantly create newer, cheaper plans to lure healthier patients away from their current plans as they become more expensive, creating instability in the system over the long run.
Lee has offered no hints as to what his future decision on the legislation will be, but one thing seems almost certain: The fate of the Better Care Reconciliation Act rests in his hands.
Mike Lee, the Republican senator from Utah and Tea Party favorite who for years advocated for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, says he will not vote for the American Health Care Act, the legislation proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and backed by President Donald Trump.
The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on the bill, but it’s unclear whether Republicans have the votes to get it through the lower chamber.
A number of House Republicans have said they will not support the bill because it amounts to “another entitlement” or “Obamacare Lite.” Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) ripped the legislation in a tweet Monday, saying he couldn’t recall a more “universally detested” bill since first being elected to Congress in 2010.
And Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told TheBlaze last week that GOP leadership realized “they’ve got problems” when it came to garnering the support the Freedom Caucus members, such as himself.
Meanwhile, Trump and members of the House GOP leadership insist they have the votes to advance the legislation.
But the legislation will likely face an uphill battle in the Senate, as well — both from from Tea Party members and more moderate senators.
“I promised the people of Utah I would do everything I can to repeal #Obamacare. The House bill does not do that. I am a no. #FullRepeal,” Lee tweeted.
I promised the people of Utah I would do everything I can to repeal #Obamacare. The House bill does not do that. I am a no. #FullRepeal
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 21, 2017
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called the bill “Obamacare Lite,” suggesting he would not support it either. Paul has introduced his own bill in the Senate that would repeal Obamacare but not replace it.
“[After repeal] we can have a separate vote on replacement legislation that will deliver lower costs, better care, and greater access to the American people, Paul said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a moderate Republican from South Carolina, voiced opposition to the current bill. Instead, Graham suggested what he called “collapse and replace.”
“What I would suggest,” Graham told TheBlaze last week, “is if we can’t improve the House bill … that we let this program, designed by Democrats exclusively, voted on by Democrats exclusively, fail, and challenge Democrats to help clean up the mess they created.”
“That’s the only way you’ll get a bipartisan result is collapse and replace,” Graham said.
In a very funny video posted on the Twitter account of Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), he gives Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) some help preparing for his debate with Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) set for Tuesday evening on CNN.
“Hey @SenTedCruz,” Lee writes, “if you need help preparing for your #Obamacare debate tonight with @SenSanders, you can borrow this book,” with the debate hashtag “CNNDebateNight.”
The video shows a the first person perspective of Senator Lee climbing a ladder on a library of books and finding a particular tome, entitled, “the Benefits of Socialism.”
Lee takes it down to his desk, and flips the pages, revealing:
There is nothing printed on the pages, implying that that there are no “benefits of socialism.”
The debate between Senator Cruz and Senator Sanders will be conducted Tuesday night on CNN and will focus on Obamacare, a hot topic given that the Trump administration vowed to repeal and replace Obama’s signature legislation but the promise is hitting some obstacles. The Vermont Senator is well known for his socialist advocacy, while Cruz could be said to be his polar opposite as a champion of free market capitalism and limited government.
Hey @SenTedCruz, if you need help preparing for your #Obamacare debate tonight with @SenSanders, you can borrow this book. #CNNDebateNight pic.twitter.com/hJgC3kNfHW
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) February 7, 2017
Trump’s first executive order upon entering the Oval Office was focused against Obamacare, even as Vice President Mike Pence reassured Americans that if they liked their insurance under Obamacare, that they would be able to keep their insurance. Trump has just recently admitted that a repeal and replacement may not happen until next year.
Neither Republican Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, or Mike Lee of Utah have been fans of President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy during his eight years in office. Obama has often had a habit of sidestepping congress and issuing executive orders to to take military actions overseas.
So both senators decided to get proactive, and advise President-elect Donald Trump ahead of time via a letter to follow the prescribed methods of taking military action as outlined by the Constitution of the United States.
While members of Congress have disagreements on many domestic and foreign policies, we all agree that the most fundamental duty of the federal government is to protect the safety, security, and freedoms of the American people. The constitutional powers to carry out this duty are shared between the President and Congress so that our military and diplomatic policies are informed by a long-term vision of American interests – forged through the kind of open debate and patient deliberation that is the province of Congress – while remaining flexible enough to respond to threats as they appear.
Paul and Lee go on to outline that any further action that occurs in the Middle East and North Africa should only occur with the approval of Congress, as the Constitution outlines. This includes the creation of no fly, no drive, and humanitarian zones that would utilize elements of the U.S. military in any way in order to execute the action.
The senators also made it clear that they are not saying that the U.S. should ignore or condone the events happening in places like the Middle-East, but that actions pertaining to them should only occur after much debate and deliberation from congress. Unlike his predecessor, Trump should not appoint himself a one man decision maker about how our military should act, and instead rely on the consensus and permission of Congress.
The complexity of the security questions we face as a nation calls for robust debate, prudence and cooperation. The challenges are too great and the risks too high to simply defer to yesterday’s status quo. Now is the time for bold leadership and sober judgment. You have the opportunity at the beginning of your presidency to help recommit the Executive Branch to preserving this constitutional balance that has always defined our government at its best, and we stand ready to work with your administration toward that end.
Read the entire letter here.
Paul himself has been very vocal about his thoughts about how the incoming administration should handle foreign policy. At some points, he even lead media campaigns against some of Trump’s picks for secretary of state, especially John Bolton, calling him “a menace.” However, he seems to be relatively pleased with the president-elect’s final pick for the position, Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson, after Tillerson acknowledged that the Iraq war was a mistake.
On his Facebook page Saturday, prominent conservative radio personality Glenn Beck responded to the growing controversy over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s lewd remarks on Friday, in which he appeared, among other things, to suggest that he could “grab [women] by the p***y” and they would let him, because he’s famous.
Beck, who has been a staunch opponent of Trump since the beginning of his primary campaign, and who has refused to endorse or support him in the general election, specifically discussed Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)’s decision to call on Trump to drop out of the race. Beck noted:
Every person, each of us must decide what is a bridge too far.
Mike Lee has obviously reached that point, where the moral compromise his party is asking him to make is simply beyond what is acceptable.
It is not acceptable to ask a moral, dignified man to cast his vote to help elect an immoral man who is absent decency or dignity. . . . Lee’s call for Trump to step down and withdraw from the race is respectful to him and to the process.
Getty Images/David Calvert
Beck also dismissed the idea that the election of Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would mean the end of the American Republic:
If she is elected, the world does not end…. Once elected, Hillary can be fought. Her tactics are blatant and juvenile, and battling her by means of political and procedural maneuvering or through the media , through public marches and online articles, all of that will be moral, worthy of man of principal.
Her nominees can be blocked, her proposed laws voted down.
The alternative does not offer a moral person the same opportunity. If one helps to elect an immoral man to the highest office, then one is merely validating his immorality, lewdness, and depravity.
But it’s OK, at least it is not her! Right??
Beck toured with and endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Republican primary. When Cruz endorsed Trump in September, Beck harshly questioned Cruz during a contentious radio interview in which Cruz admitted that he sold his mailing list to Donald Trump.
Read more stories from TheBlaze
Trump apologizes for lewd comments about women: ‘I pledge to be a better man’
Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) said Wednesday that he cannot endorse presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump yet because he “scares me to death.”
Lee, who previously supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), said he has “concerns” with the billionaire businessman.
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images
“I have some concerns with him. He scares me to death — so does Hillary Clinton,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner. “There is no easy choice right now.”
Campaigning for Cruz, Lee said the Texas senator is a “proven record of fighting for our conservative values and for the issues that matter most to Americans.” But now that Cruz is out, Lee said he will keep his eye on the developments.
“I’m going to continue to watch this,” he said. “I’ll make the decision as best I can, but I’m not there yet.”
Lee’s joins many other high-profile Republicans, who have said they will not support Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee or vote for him in the November election.
This comes almost one week after House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he is “just not ready” to support Trump’s candidacy. The two men are slated to meet Thursday to iron out their issues.
— Follow the author of this story on Twitter: Follow @tregp
Read more stories from TheBlaze
Cruz Doesn’t Rule Out Unsuspending His Campaign: ‘If There Is a Path to Victory, We Launched This Campaign Intending to Win’
Famed Evangelist: These Signs Prove That We Are Looking at the ‘Last Generation of Human History’
New Research Reveals Trump Is Less Popular Than Nickelback, Root Canals, Lice and More
TBS Show Host and Guest Go on Expletive-Laced Rant Against Pregnancy Centers, Pro-Lifers
Here’s How Trump Answered When Asked if He Would Appoint Supreme Court Justices Willing to Overturn Roe v. Wade
Utah Sen. Mike Lee called Kevin McCarthy’s surprise announcement that he was dropping out of the race for House speaker ”emblematic” of the tension across the country.
“Congressman McCarthy’s withdrawal from the speakership race today was emblematic of a tension that is felt by the American people,” Lee told TheBlaze. “There is great conflict, people are not feeling like they’re well represented in Washington and a lot of people are divided. Even among Republicans, people across the country have different feelings about what Washington ought to be doing.”
Lee said Americans are united by a “certain dissatisfaction with the Washington status quo. They want something different and I don’t know how this is all going to turn out with the speaker’s race, but I do know that we’re now seeing played out on the floor of the House of Representatives, a lot of the angst that the American people feel about what is happening in Washington.”
McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was widely presumed to succeed John Boehner as speaker, instead told House Republicans Thursday that he was bowing out of the race. He said there needs to be a “fresh face” in leadership, but that he plans to remain House Majority leader.
Read more stories from TheBlaze
‘A Mean-Spirited Insult’: Tens of Thousands Demand That Archbishop Who Reportedly Set Up Meeting With Kim Davis and Pope Francis ‘Resign Immediately’
Trey Gowdy: ‘If I Had One Draft Choice and I Was Starting a New Country,’ Here’s Who I’d Pick to Run It
‘You Thought Obamacare Was Shocking?’: Drudge Reveals What Supreme Court Justice Said ‘To My Face’
California Gun Owner Explains Why He Feels Partly Responsible for Gun Violence — See What He Did to His Own Firearm in Response
Megyn Kelly Analyzes ‘Disturbing New Twist’ Involving ‘Clock Kid’ Ahmed Mohamed’s Father