Trump still criticizing McConnell over health care failure


After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly bemoaned President Donald Trump's "excessive expectations" on passing a new health care law, Trump countered by calling out his fellow Republican for not delivering on their party's signature promise.

Though McConnell has largely refrained from criticizing Trump, he has on occasion critiqued the president's use of Twitter as unhelpful to GOP lawmakers' efforts to stay on message in pursuing their priorities.

"Part of the reason I think people think we're under-performing is because of too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality of the legislature which may have not been understood".

McConnell hinted that Trump's insistence on haste had made Congress' failure to repeal the ACA, also known as Obamacare, look more damning than it actually was.

Republican senators are on defense this month in their districts after the Obamacare repeal disaster that Trump has distanced his administration from. In that sense, one may argue that Trump's tweet is on-point. He included a link to a Fox Business story about McConnell's comments.

"Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing", the president tweeted later on Thursday. "You can do it!"

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Since the collapse of a health-care bill, Trump has belittled GOP senators as looking like "fools" and suggested they change the chamber's rules to make it easier to pass bills.

The escalating attacks, now in a second day, underscore the rocky relationship between the White House and what typically would be the president's allies from his party in Congress. Later, as McConnell's GOP-only rewrite was losing support, Trump invited Republican senators to the White House and urged them to continue. Trump even cautioned the state of Kentucky not to "blow it" on McConnell's senatorial aspirations.

For one, Republicans have never really reached a consensus about upending health care.

"Discerning a particular strategy or goal from these tweets is hard", said Doug Heye, a Republican consultant and former Capitol Hill staffer. Then, he implied that McConnell should step aside from his position as Senate Majority Leader.

Heye said it was hard to see how Trump's tweets make it easier to pass health care reform or other items on the Republican agenda, such as tax reform.

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