House and Senate conservatives continue to oppose the House-led effort to replace Obamacare, but President Donald Trump still publicly supports the effort.
During a Trump campaign rally in Kentucky on Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed Donald Trump, but he was booed by many skeptics in the crowd when he took the stage. McConnell told the audience that Trump was the answer to Congress’s prayer for a Republican president in Washington D.C.
“You know they returned a Republican congress last year, but they answered our message and our prayer,” McConnell said. “We said ‘Send us somebody who who will sign the repeal of Obamacare into law,’ and they sent us President Donald Trump.”
McConnell praised Trump as the one who would finally help them pass an Obamacare replacement bill.
“You’re going to hear from our great new president, who’s going to give us the chance to fix this health care mess left behind by Barack Obama,” he said.
After Trump took the stage, he defended McConnell, calling him a “tremendous modern day leader” and asked the crowd to clap for their representative.
“I want you to give him a nice hand because he’s on our side,” Trump said. “You’ve got to take care of your people, right?”
Even if the bill passes the House, it faces a tough uphill climb in the Senate, as well as some major changes. Senate sources have indicated that McConnell will be forced to rewrite much of the bill to get enough senators to support it.
Trump appears confident that he can get something passed through Congress, noting his impatience to move on tax reform and trade deals.
During the rally, Trump appeared to ask McConnell to join him on the stage during the rally, but the Senate Majority leader remained where he was.
“How are you doing, Mitch?” Trump asked. “Are we going to be okay? Everything good? That health care is looking good? Good. Thanks, Mitch.”
Sen. Rand Paul was noticeably absent at the rally, as he remains staunchly opposed to the House-led bill.
“I happen to like, a lot, Senator Rand Paul. I do,” Trump said, promising to work with Paul in the Senate to get the healthcare bill “passed in some form.”
Trump vocally supported McConnell and Ryan’s efforts, promising to get the job done.
“We are going to be working very closely with our leader, Mitch McConnell, to get that job done. Paul Ryan, everybody,” he said. “They are going to be working very hard.”
Trump is investing a lot of his political capital in getting the bill passed, personally traveling to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby for it.
The bill is scheduled for a House vote on Thursday, but conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus remain skeptical that it will pass.
“At this time, the bill does not have the votes to pass,” Freedom Caucus Communications director Alyssa Farah told Breitbart News on Monday.