| President Donald Trump and House Republican leaders are — again — in serious jeopardy of not having enough votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. Moderates continued bolting Monday — CNN’s count has the GOP at 21 departures, with no room to spare — while the President made comments that could throw the entire measure into doubt.
Get a whip for the whips: Some of the people tasked with counting votes for the GOP — Reps. Kevin Yoder, David Valadao, Erik Paulson, Elise Stefanik, and Adam Kinzinger — haven’t yet decided whether they even support the bill. Other members of the whip team said they didn’t know the vote count as they headed out of a whip meeting in the Capitol this evening.
Trump once again muddied the waters by suggesting the measure may still be changed. “I want it to be good for sick people. It’s not in its final form right now," he said during an Oval Office interview Monday with Bloomberg News. “It will be every bit as good on preexisting conditions as Obamacare."
Here’s the thing: The legislation — a compromise negotiated by moderate GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows — seems to lose votes any way it’s changed. Handing those with pre-existing conditions the same guarantees they get through Obamacare would mean another conservative rebellion.
Trump made a personal call to surprise defector Rep. Billy Long, but couldn’t win him back, per Politico’s Kyle Cheney, Josh Dawsey and Rachael Bade.
Vice President Mike Pence visited the House this evening. His only comment to reporters, on whether Republicans have the votes: “Stay tuned."