Trump squeezes 'no' vote Heller at healthcare lunch

President Trump sat next to Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.), an opponent of the Senate GOP's bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, at a White House lunch designed to salvage the effort.

Trump used the seating arrangement to pressure Heller, joking about him wanting to “remain a senator.”

“Any senator who votes against debate says you are fine with ObamaCare,” Trump said.

Heller, considered one of the GOP’s most endangered 2018 incumbents, has a fraught relationship with the White House over his stance on healthcare.

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An outside group aligned with Trump announced last month it would launch a seven-figure ad buy against the Nevada senator for opposing the repeal-and-replace bill.

The group, America First Policies, scrapped the ads at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Progressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Ky.)

Trump used a strategic seating arrangement at the last all-senators healthcare meeting at the White House, placing himself between Sens. Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (R-Maine).

Both senators opposed the repeal-and-replace plan and have said they would not vote to advance an alternative repeal-only bill backed by McConnell.

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottHow much damage? The true cost of the Senate's coronavirus relief bill Senate unanimously passes T coronavirus stimulus package Senate rejects GOP attempt to change unemployment benefits in coronavirus stimulus bill MORE (R-S.C.) sat on the other side of the president on Wednesday.

This report was updated at 12:55 p.m.