Trump Gathers GOP Congressmen at WH: ‘Unbelievable Victory When We Get It Through the Senate’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Standing in front of a host of Republican House lawmakers gathered for a victory lap in the Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump declared that passing the American Health Care Act would be an “unbelievable victory when we get it through the Senate.”

After weeks of heated debate over repealing and replacing Obamacare, the House very narrowly passed what the Vice President called the first step in repealing President Obama’s signature health insurance law, Obamacare. President Trump called a press conference with House Republicans at the White House to commemorate the hard-fought passage of the bill.

President Trump entered the Rose Garden to a standing ovation:

“Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare,” said Vice President Mike Pence, as he credited the leadership and persistent work of President Trump for the bill’s passage. Pence recalled the March 2010 passage of Obamacare and Republican promises that the law “would not stand” as he stood in front of an overflowing crowd of Republican lawmakers who had rushed down to the White House from Capitol Hill. “We’ve taken a historic first step to repeal and replace Obamacare and finally give the American people the kind of health care they deserve.”

President Trump spoke of Americans suffering under the “ravages” of Obamacare. He declared confidence that the bill would pass in the U.S. Senate, that it would “get even better.” He promised that premiums and deductibles will come down under the AHCA.

“It’s gonna be an unbelievable victory, actually, when we get it through the Senate,” said Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that, after serving during four presidential administrations, he had never seen the level of involvement from the White House as he has with this President and Vice President.

As Ryan spoke, Trump and Rep. Mark Meadows could be seen leaning in for a few friendly words that seemed to make each of them smile.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy then took the podium, stating that it would have been easy to watch Obamacare collapse, but that wouldn’t be right, “Today is a start of a new beginning.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise spoke of stories from Americans in his district who have seen double digit increases in their health insurance premiums every year under Obamacare. This isn’t about a political goal, said Scalise, this is “about families.”

Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden said they reached out to Governors, Insurance Commissioners, and “innovators of this space.”

“We have the opportunity now to rescue people, to give them the opportunity to truly get the kind of care that they want, they deserve, with the doctors that they choose, and a price they can afford,” said House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said, “I know this is just a first step, but make no mistake, this is a giant step toward the day when Americans aren’t struggling under one trillion of dollars of tax hikes that hurt small businesses, that land on families, that drag our economy down, that hurt patients.”

Brady thanked Congressman Mark Meadows for remaining “at the table, worked to bring our conference together.”

Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows then took to the podium saying, “There are three numbers that matter today, 217, 1, and 318.”

Meadows continued:

Today we had a vote in the House and 217 votes actually came together from different districts, from all across the country. From Maine to California, from Michigan to Florida and in between and all of those 217 members came from different districts that represented a different kind of people. It’s a good day because of the number one, a president who wouldn’t give up, a president who got engaged, a president who said you know I don’t care what the mainstream media is saying, we’re gonna get this done and we’re gonna make it better for the American people. And Mr. President and Mr. Vice President, for those late night calls i’m glad that i’ll get some rest, but I want to thank you on behalf of the most critical number and that’s the 318 million Americans who now, once again will be able to get affordable healthcare, to allow those decisions to be made between them and their doctor and once again, make sure that they don’t have to go begging and figuring out how to pay for their healthcare premium instead of their mortgage. So Mr. President it’s a great day for America, it’s a great day for this Administration and it’s a truly great day for the American people.

Rep. Tom MacArthur recalled the crippling medical bills his dad worked hard to pay off after his mom got cancer. He said he was proud to have a small part in bringing affordable health care to Americans.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Seema Verma took the podium thanking the whole group and speaking of moms across the country with insurance cards they can’t use because their healthcare was unaffordable.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price spoke of the attempt to provide care for every single American. “We’ve gotten to this point right now because the men and women behind us have acted upon principle.” He spoke of principle that provides affordable health care for everybody and of the highest quality.

“The journey continues, we will get it done,” said President Trump. As he concluded the event, he thanked everyone that had been involved in passing the bill through the House, adding in a entertaining and lighthearted note, “I even want to thank the media.”

Seated in the front rows for the event were many Trump Administration officials.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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