In a Friday tweet, President Donald Trump appeared to back a proposal put forward by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on how to proceed with Obamacare, should the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) fail to pass the United States Senate.
The President stated that if Senate Republicans are “unable to pass [the BCRA]”, they should “immediately repeal and replace at a later date.”
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
A day before, Sen. Paul told Fox News he would like to “divide the bill in two”, with an initial bill that fully repeals Obamacare, and then pass a bi-partisan spending bill to replace Obamacare with support from Democrats and “big government Republicans”.
“The President seemed open, and interested in the idea,” Paul said, referring to his meeting with President Trump on Tuesday.
Paul has previously noted that he has a “good rapport” with the President, and Trump is said to be intent on getting Paul’s backing for the Obamacare repeal. Paul recently released a list of possible amendments to the present legislation that could win his support, but they appear unlikely to get the support of Senate Republican leadership.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) also sent a letter to President Trump supporting Paul’s proposal earlier today. Unlike Paul, however, Sasse has a relatively poor relationship with the President, publicly attacking Trump just yesterday, so it is unlikely that he had any considerable input in Trump’s shift.
Earlier this week, the BCRA vote was delayed due to heavy criticism of the bill from both a bloc of conservative Senators, including Paul, and various moderate Republican Senators, such as Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dean Heller (R-NV).