- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested a “big surprise” was in store on the Senate Republican healthcare bill, a day after its progress stalled in the chamber.
“Healthcare is working along very well. We’re gonna have a big surprise,” Trump said at an event in the White House with the Chicago Cubs. “We have a great healthcare package.”
When asked for clarification, Trump replied: “We’re going to have a great, great surprise.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday delayed a vote on the GOP bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, because of divisions between the conservative and moderate wings of the party.
Moderates believe the bill goes too far in its cuts to programs like Medicaid, while conservatives say it does not go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare.
Trump also met with the full Senate Republican conference on Tuesday, accounts of which suggested the president seemed not to grasp some of the basics of the healthcare bill.
McConnell is aiming to get a revised agreement on the legislation by Friday before the weeklong July 4 recess so the Congressional Budget Office can score it over the break. That would set the bill up for a vote the week of July 10.
GOP senators on Wednesday hinted that such a deal was not close.
Sen. Rand Paul, a conservative holdout, told reporters the conference was at an “impasse.” Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate holdout, said she still saw serious, fundamental issues in the bill.
When asked whether an agreement on the healthcare bill would be ready by Friday, Sen. John McCain told reporters: “Pigs could fly.”
Watch Trump’s comments on healthcare, starting at 2:30:
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