US President Donald Trump said last week that Republicans would be the new "party of healthcare" and would scrap the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that covers 20 million Americans and replace it with a better one.
"I made it clear to him we were not going to be doing that in the Senate", McConnell told reporters. "He did say, as he later tweeted, he accepted that and that he would be developing a plan that he would take to the American people during the 2020 campaign, and suggested that is what he would be advocating in a second term if there were a Republican Congress", he said.
Democrats countered that Trump, in conjunction with McConnell, has jammed the Senate with a set of historically unqualified nominees and broke with traditions of previous administrations, of both parties, in consulting with senators from the other party on many appointments. "Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House".
Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and most of the provisions took effect in 2014.
Trump's surprise at the assertion could not have outmatched Senate Republicans' own when the POTUS surprised them with a demand for comprehensive healthcare reform with little more than a series of tweets as warning.
Moments earlier, Schumer accused the GOP leader of vowing to turn the Senate into a "conveyor belt" to approve Trump's nominees and admonished Republicans for allowing McConnell's "debasement of the Senate".
We've seen this pattern before: Trump blurts out a promise he thinks everyone will like, but it turns out his party has no interest in pursuing it, and eventually the vow just disappears.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., used a complex procedural maneuver, known as the nuclear option, to cut debate for lower-level nominees from 30 hours to two hours. In response, I argued that he was putting his party in an uncomfortable position by forcing Republicans to talk about an issue they would much prefer to avoid altogether.
Trump's comments, which came via his Twitter feed late Monday, confirmed health care will play a significant role on the campaign trail over the next two years. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that they have a lot or some trust in Democratic lawmakers to protect or improve health care, compared to 41 percent who said the same about Republicans. "The American people are for having access to care". But Trump's promised big, new health care bill wasn't going happen with Democrats running the House. And it signaled that, after two years in Trump's Washington, Republicans on Capitol Hill are figuring out how to handle the president and his impulsive swerves on policy. Instead, Trump could focus on the issue during the election. While his hardcore supporters continue to cheer the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act, they generally support the law's provisions.
President Trump says there won't be any plan ready until 2021.
"It is time for this sorry chapter to end", McConnell said on the Senate floor.
"If you look at the history of the Senate, the filibuster until 2003- so for well over 200 years- was never considered to be part of the nominating process", said Blunt, the Senate Rules chairman.