In an earlier article at redbluedivide.com, I wrote that the famed D.C. cherry trees might not be the only things “blossoming” in Washington this week. Because of Republican disunity and disloyalty, it was possible that President Trump would turn his back on his party’s leadership and begin a new effort to work with Democrats. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an interview on Thursday that he does not want to work with Democrats on healthcare legislation. “I don’t want that to happen,” Ryan told Norah O’Donnell on “CBS This Morning.” “I want a patient-centered system,” he added. “I don’t want government running health care. The government shouldn’t tell you what you must do with your life, with your healthcare. We should give people choices.”
In response to the GOP fractures driving Trump to partner with Democrats over members of their party, Ryan stated, “[If] the Republican Congress allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good, I worry we’ll push the president into working with Democrats. He’s been suggesting that as much.” Ryan went on to describe that merely retooling Obamacare is not what conservatives have desired.
Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, fueled Ryan’s fears. He said that Trump was sincere about working with Democrats on health care reform after Republican’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare failed to make it to the floor for a vote. “Starting Friday afternoon through late yesterday, [Trump] has received a number of calls, as well as other members of the senior staff that have been working on healthcare, from members of both sides saying that they would like to work together, offer up ideas and have suggestions about how to come to a resolution on this and get a House vote on this,” he told reporters.
Trump is convinced that the Democrats will come to the table quickly when Obamacare begins to fold. Trump declared, “Do not worry, we are in very good shape!”
This is probably lighting a fire under Speaker Ryan. The question is whether or not it is going to make the Freedom Caucus anxious to get back to negotiation. Will the Republicans be able to take full credit for a new healthcare plan or will a bi-partisan effort “blossom?” What do you think?