Trump in 2010: Obama was ‘very smart’ to delay ObamaCare vote until Scott Brown was seated

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President Trump said in 2010 that then-President Obama was “very smart” to seat then-newly elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) before holding the final votes on ObamaCare.

Trump’s statements have resurfaced because they contrast with the current Republican plan, which aims to pass the GOP tax cuts before Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who was elected on Tuesday, can be seated.

During a 2010 interview with CNN that the network brought new attention to on Thursday, Trump said Obama “pulled back” on pushing for the vote on health care following the election of Brown — who defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a Massachusetts special election upset in January 2010.

“He said now, you know, we have to give Massachusetts their vote, which was a very smart thing for him to say,” Trump told CNN at the time.
“But that may kill his health-care plan. Boy, he has devoted an entire year, and all of his capital, to this one particular situation that a lot of people don’t want,” Trump said.
Brown replaced Democratic Sen. Paul Kirk, meaning Democrats would have one less member in the Senate once he was sworn in. His election came after the House and Senate each passed their own versions of the health-care bill.
Obama, at the time, said the Senate shouldn’t try to “jam anything through” until Brown was seated.
“The people in Massachusetts spoke. He’s got to be part of that process,” Obama said in 2010.
The interview has resurfaced because of the parallels between Brown and Jones, as Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushes to pass the tax cuts before Jones is seated. Democrats are pushing for Jones to be seated before holding a final vote on the GOP tax plan.
Jones’s win will narrow the GOP majority in the Senate down to a single seat, 51-49, which would complicate McConnell’s ability to pass the tax bill.
On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on McConnell to “hit pause on his tax bill and not hold a final vote” until Jones is sworn in.
“Doug Jones will be the duly elected senator from the state of Alabama,” Schumer said. “The governor didn’t appoint him. He won an election.”
Republicans want to vote on their tax bill next week, while Alabama officials have said they will not certify the Senate race results until Dec. 26. That means Jones might not be seated until January.

McConnell also said on Tuesday that Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), who was defeated in the Republican primary, would stay in the Senate through the end of the current session. 

Asked about calls for the tax bill to be delayed, a spokesman for McConnell noted the timeline for the tax plan was scheduled before the Alabama election.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Luther Strange Mitch McConnell
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