SPONSORED:

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

 

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 McConnellWashington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission 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 CollinsRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans 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 ScottPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Biden adds pressure to congressional talks with self-imposed deadlines Republicans can win back control in 2022 — if they don't 'cancel' themselves first MORE (R-S.C.) sat on the other side of the president on Wednesday.

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