The Latest: Trump says let Obamacare fail, he won’t ‘own it’

Donald Trump
FILE - In this May 10, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump talks to reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump, in an apparent warning to his fired FBI director, said Friday, May 12, 2017, that James Comey had better hope there are no "tapes" of their conversations. Trump's tweet came the morning after he asserted Comey had told him three times that he wasn't under FBI investigation. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he is deeply “disappointed” by the collapse of the GOP effort to rewrite former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Trump told reporters during a lunch with service members Tuesday that Republicans have been talking for years about repealing and replacing “Obamacare,” and is disappointed they couldn’t deliver.

Trump says it’s time to “Let Obamacare fail,” and says that “I’m not going to own it.”

He says letting Obamacare fail will encourage Democrats to come to the table and negotiate.

Trump also says he does not blame Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the decision by two more Republican senators to come out against the legislation, effectively killing the bill.

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12:40 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has announced she will oppose moving forward on an “Obamacare” repeal bill – leaving Republicans once again short of votes.

Murkowski became the third GOP senator to announce her opposition to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s latest health care bill. McConnell can lose only two votes in the closely divided Senate, meaning the bill cannot advance.

McConnell was urging senators to advance to debate on a repeal-only bill on “Obamacare.” That was after his earlier repeal-and-replace bill was killed Monday by opposition from Republican senators.

Tuesday’s development marked the third straight defeat for McConnell as he struggles to make good on longstanding GOP promises to get rid of “Obamacare.”

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11 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says Congress needs to “step up” and “do their job” in the aftermath of the Republican health care plan’s failure to win consensus in the Senate.

Pence said in a speech to the National Retail Federation on Tuesday that the Senate should vote to repeal the so-called Obamacare law and replace it with a new plan. Or he says it should return to the “carefully crafted” legislation in the House and the Senate.

But Pence says “inaction is not an option” and Congress needs to act to address health care.

Pence spoke shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted late Monday that Republicans should repeal the law and work on a new health care plan “that will start from a clean slate.”

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10:50 a.m.

At least two Republican senators say they can’t vote to repeal the health care law without a replacement.

West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said in a statement Tuesday that she “did not come to Washington to hurt people.” She said she had reservations about the GOP health care plan to erase much of Barack Obama’s health care law. Her concerns focused on proposed cuts to Medicaid and the impact on treating the opioid epidemic, which has hit her state hard.

Separately, Maine Sen. Susan Collins also said she opposes the repeal and delay approach. Collins said it’s not constructive to repeal a law so interwoven within the health care system and then hope over the next two years to come up with a replacement.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs at least 50 votes to move ahead. With Capito and Collins’ objections, he can’t afford another defection.

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10:30 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will soon vote on a fresh bill repealing much of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Kentucky Republican is conceding that his party’s prized legislation erasing big chunks of the 2010 statute and replacing it with GOP-favored programs won’t succeed.

He spoke Tuesday, the morning after the GOP bill collapsed under opposition from Republican senators. McConnell says his chamber will vote in coming days on legislation dismantling much of Obama’s law that would take effect in two years. He says that would give lawmakers time to craft a replacement. The prospects for that bill seem doubtful. Democrats oppose it and many Republicans agree, worrying that a two-year gap would roil insurance markets and be politically damaging to the GOP.

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10:10 a.m. Speaker Paul Ryan says he would like to see the Senate “move on something” after the collapse of GOP plan to repeal and replace the health care law. Ryan told reporters on Tuesday that the House is proud of the bill they passed in early May and is waiting to see what Senate can do. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, faced with defeat on his repeal and replace plan, is pushing ahead with a repeal and delay effort but faces uncertainty in getting that done. Ryan said he was “worried Obamacare will stand” and repeated that the law is failing. Ryan said, “We’d like to see the Senate move on something … We’ve got a promise to keep.”

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9:40 a.m. President Donald Trump is calling for a 51-vote majority in the Senate instead of the current 60 votes as a means for getting individual pieces of legislation passed without the threat of a filibuster. The president tweeted Tuesday, “The Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes. Even parts of full Repeal need 60. 8 Dems control Senate. Crazy!” Trump’s health care bill suffered its latest blow after two GOP senators – Utah’s Mike Lee and Jerry Moran of Kansas -announced Monday that they would vote “no” in a critical vote. At least four of the 52 GOP senators were ready to block the measure – two more than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to spare in the face of unanimous Democratic opposition.

7:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blasting Democrats and “a few Republicans” over the failure of the Republican effort to write a new health care law.

“We will return,” Trump declared in an early morning tweet.

The president tweeted Tuesday that “Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard,” but says, “We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans.” He added, “As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!”

Two GOP senators – Utah’s Mike Lee and Jerry Moran of Kansas – sealed the Republican health care bill’s doom late Monday when each announced he would vote “no.”

At least four of the 52 GOP senators were ready to block the measure – two more than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to spare.

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3 a.m. The implosion of the Senate Republican health care bill leaves a divided GOP with its flagship legislative priority in tatters. And it confronts a wounded President Donald Trump and congressional leaders with difficult decisions about addressing their seven-year-old promise of repealing President Barack Obama’s law. Two GOP senators – Utah’s Mike Lee and Jerry Moran of Kansas – sealed the measure’s doom late Monday when each said they would vote “no” in an initial, critical vote that had been expected as soon as next week. Their startling announcement meant at least four of the 52 GOP senators were ready to block the measure. That’s two more than Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to spare in the face of a wall of Democratic opposition.

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2:50 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying a new health care strategy after the “repeal and replace” measure failed. McConnell says he will push the Senate to pass a clean repeal bill.

The Republican leader made the announcement in a statement that came a few hours after two Republican senators dealt a fatal blow to the replacement bill unveiled last Thursday, meaning McConnell lacked the votes to move ahead.

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11 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing defeat on his “Obamacare” replacement, says he will push the Senate to pass a clean repeal bill. The Republican leader made the announcement in a statement that came a few hours after two Republican senators dealt a fatal blow to the replacement bill unveiled last Thursday.

Sens. Jerry Moran and Mike Lee joined two other senators in opposing the legislation, meaning McConnell lacked the votes to move ahead. The Kentucky Republican says, “regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” McConnell says that in the coming days, the Senate will consider the House-passed bill, with the first order of business a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay. He is not saying when the vote will occur.

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10:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Republicans should just repeal the nation’s current health care law and work on a new plan that starts from a “clean slate.” Trump tweeted his message Monday night after two more GOP senators announced their opposition to legislation he backs. The defections left Republicans short of the votes they need to pass the measure. Trump says that if Republicans start fresh, “Dems will join in!” Republican lawmakers have spent the last several months working to both repeal the law passed under President Barack Obama and pass an overhaul package.

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9 p.m.

Republican Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah say they will oppose the Republican health care bill, dealing a blow to GOP leaders’ hopes of repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s legislation. The two senators issued separate statements late Monday saying they can’t support the legislation. They join two other Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, in opposition. With just a 52-48 majority in the Senate, Lee and Moran’s resistance means Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cannot move ahead on the bill. Lee says he can’t support the bill because it doesn’t repeal all of the Obamacare taxes and doesn’t go far enough to lower premiums. Moran says, “We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy.”

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6:55 p.m.

A third Republican senator is signaling he may not back his party’s health care bill when it finally comes to a vote. That puts the high-profile legislation in deep jeopardy. Conservative Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson says he’s spoken to colleagues and confirmed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said future Medicaid cuts planned by the health care measure will “never happen.” Johnson tells reporters such comments are “troubling” and “a real breach of trust.” He says he’s no longer urging colleagues to vote to begin debate on the measure. That vote is now expected as early as next week. The measure will be derailed if three of the 52 GOP senators oppose it. Two other Republicans have already said they’re against it.

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6:50 p.m.

A conservative Republican who is running to unseat Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake says she’s met with White House officials about the campaign. Kelli Ward says said she was encouraged by the meeting at the White House, but wouldn’t discuss details. The White House meeting points to strained ties between Flake and President Donald Trump. Flake was an outspoken Republican critic of Trump in last year’s presidential contest. He’s facing the possibility of multiple GOP rivals in the 2018 primary. Ward is a former state senator who sought to unseat Sen. John McCain in 2016. She calls Flake ineffective but acknowledges ousting an incumbent is difficult. But Ward points to Trump’s surprise win in 2016 and says “times have changed.”

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4:30 p.m.

Foes from left and right are using the delayed vote on the Republican health care bill to make it as politically toxic as possible for wavering GOP senators to support it. But the postponement also gives Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House more time to cut the deals they need to rescue the imperiled measure. McConnell signaled Monday that days of bargaining and persuasion with reluctant colleagues lay ahead. He says the only way to prevail “is with continued hard work, and that’s just what we intend to do. ” The AARP is aiming TV and radio ads at undecided, moderate Republican senators in five states. From the right, Americans for Prosperity is rallying its members to urge senators to make the bill even more conservative.

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