A day before a key procedural vote on a GOP health care bill, President Donald Trump urged Republican Senators to follow through on their campaign pledge of the last seven years to get rid of the Obama health law, declaring that the time has come for the GOP to move ahead on the issue.
"So far Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare," the President said during an afternoon health care event at the White House.
"Every Republican promised immediate relief," the President reminded GOP Senators of their campaign pledges, saying it's time for Republicans to fulfill their promise to "repeal and replace" the Obama health law.
Before his remarks, Mr. Trump had met with voters from Ohio and West Virginia, states where Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have been on the fence about supporting emerging GOP plans in the Senate.
"Any Senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, which is what it is," the President said.
"This is their chance to keep their promise. Over and over again, they said, repeal and replace, repeal and replace," the President added, leaning on undecided Republicans.
"There is still time to do the right thing," Mr. Trump said, arguing it's time to keep this campaign promise.
GOP leaders meanwhile were signaling that it was full-speed-ahead on a Tuesday vote on the 'motion to proceed' - basically, a vote on whether to officially begin debate.
It still wasn't apparent on Monday afternoon whether GOP leaders would actually have a majority of votes to begin debate - as the absence of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), recently diagnosed with brain cancer, could leave Republicans just short of victory.
But also clouding the Senate calculus was the unknown of what GOP leaders would offer to the bill in terms of policy changes, as top Republicans are still evaluating the final details of a plan to be offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
But for now, that vote is on for Tuesday - with details still to be filled in.
"The American people have waited long enough," the President said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.