Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his troops to get back to business, rather than take their traditional August recess.
Call it the President Donald Trump Effect. Call it the Voter Effect.
Whatever it’s called, fact is: Outrage over failed Obamacare repeal has forced the Senate’s hands.
Due to unyielding pressure from the president, combined with massive outrage from the conservatives of the nation — conservatives who elected Republicans to lead all the major power corridors on Capitol Hill — McConnell cut off the first two weeks of his Senate’s normal summer holiday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham is supposed to be bringing a new anti-Obamacare plan to the forefront.
This is quite a switch in Senate viewpoints. Why, just Friday, after Sen. John McCain defected to the Democrats — as McCain is wont to do — and voted thumbs-down on the repeal, a red-faced McConnell was nonetheless saying: “It’s time to move on.”
Hmm. Apparently not.
Trump unleashed a firestorm of tweets over the weekend, calling out the Republicans for their epic fail and suggesting the way out of the political mess was to do away with the filibuster rule.
“Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW! It is killing the R party, allows 8 Dems to control country. 200 Bills sit in Senate,” he tweeted. “A JOKE!”
And this: “The very outdated filibuster rule must go.”
And this: “Republicans in the Senate will NEVER win if they don’t go to a 51 vote majority NOW. They look like fools and are just wasting time.”
Trump then slammed the Obamacare repeal vote and hinted: It’s not over until the fat lady sings.
His tweet came with a warning.
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly,” he tweeted, “BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”
Then this: “Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!”
Another: “Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace … and go to 51 votes (nuke option), get Cross State lines & more.”
So Trump tweeted — and so the Senate listened.
Senators have not left town. There are signs they’re taking back up a bill — signs from both Graham and from Sen. Susan Collins, who told national media over the weekend that “our job is not done” and the Senate needs to get back to work. And we already know where Trump stands — that Obamacare repeal was a core campaign message and it needs to be completed.
And on that, the voters still stand strong. On repeal, conservatives stand firm in the camp of Trump — angry at the defectors in the Republican Party and unwilling to let go the repeal of Obamacare.
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