The Senate should not vote on anything else — including a looming crisis like the debt ceiling — until they pass a repeal of Obamacare, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday.
“In the White House’s view, they can’t move on in the Senate,” said Mulvaney on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You can’t promise folks you’re going to do something for seven years, and then not do it.”
On Saturday, President Trump tweeted that Republican senators should “demand another vote before voting on any other bill!”
After three versions of a repeal-and-replace plan failed dramatically in the Senate last week, majority leader Mitch McConnell said, “It’s time to move on.” President Trump has shown no willingness to do so, tweeting that Republican senators should not “give up” on repeal unless they were “total quitters.”
In various tweetstorms and a speech since, he has excoriated the three GOP senators who voted down the bill, said the U.S. was “laughing” at the Republican Congress, and threatened to let Obamacare fail, then repeal it.
He then floated the idea of ending “bailouts” for members of Congress’s healthcare plans, which many interpreted as advocating for the cancellation of Congressional healthcare. Mulvaney said the president was referring to employer contributions to plans, not taking aware care entirely. “The special exemption dealt with the employer contribution, how much your employer — when you’re a member of Congress, that’s the federal government — can contribute to your coverage. And that’s the rule that the president was talking about in his tweet yesterday,” said Mulvaney.
Congress does not seem all that moved by the president’s after-the-fact campaigning and threats. Mike Allen of Axios reported that a top Congressional aide told him a late-term push would take “a miracle.”
Ironically, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the linchpin “no” vote that took down last week’s final repeal bill, was the only Republican to vote “no” on Mulvaney’s confirmation as budget director.