Pelosi: Trump is ‘making fools’ out of GOP

Greg Nash

Don’t expect House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to accept any bowling invitations from the White House.

Pelosi said Friday that President Trump is making a mockery of Republicans by bringing conservative skeptics of the GOP’s ObamaCare replacement bill to the White House next week for a few frames. 

If that’s the president’s idea of cutting a deal, Pelosi suggested, he shouldn’t bank on much support from Democrats — on any issue. 

“If he’s in a deal-making [mood] does that mean bowling at the White House in return for support for legislation? I mean, I find the charm offensive offensive. I really do,” Pelosi said during a breakfast in Washington hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. 

“I think he’s making fools of his own people, quite frankly. You don’t agree philosophically in what the legislation is? Let’s go bowling at the White House, OK?” she added.

“Come on.”

Republicans have been vowing to dismantle ObamaCare since before it was passed seven years ago, and with Trump in the White House, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are hoping to make good on the promise this year.

The Republican replacement bill, unveiled Monday evening as the American Health Care Act, passed through the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees this week on strict party line votes. And Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP leaders are hoping to bring the bill to the floor in the next few weeks. 

But conservatives on and off of Capitol Hill are lining up in opposition, arguing the GOP bill is just a watered down version of ObamaCare that grants too great a role for the federal government in dictating healthcare and insurance decisions for providers and patients alike.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) battered the GOP proposal on Thursday after the two committee votes, saying he won’t support the package without major structural changes and predicting there are roughly 30 Republicans who agree with him — enough to sink the House bill if Democrats, as expected, unite in opposition. 

“The fundamental flaw from our point of view is there are too many of the ObamaCare elements in here that have failed,” Brat said. “I don’t think it’s got the votes; I think my view is widespread. 

“For seven years, we said we would repeal ObamaCare,” he added. “We’re not repealing ObamaCare.” 

Ryan and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the Republican whip, are both guaranteeing they can rally the votes to pass the measure through the lower chamber.  

But the White House is moving aggressively to ensure that’s the case. Mick Mulvaney, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus who now heads the White House Office of Budget and Management, invited skeptical conservatives to the White House next week for pizza and bowling. 

Pelosi is predicting the Republicans’ replacement bill will fail, given the outcry of opposition from both outside conservative groups and the nation’s top healthcare lobbies, including AARP, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association.

If that’s the case, Trump has suggested Republicans should keep ObamaCare in place — and blame Democrats when it fails. 

But Pelosi predicted the Republicans would actually regroup and start the repeal process anew. 

“I figure they probably go back to the drawing board and see what they can come up with,” she said. “Maybe they’ll extend a hand of friendship. I doubt it, because this is ideological. … This is no longer about how would you do the particulars of a bill. … They just do not believe in the public role.”

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