- Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images
President Donald Trump unleashed an hours-long tweetstorm on Saturday aimed at Senate Republicans following their shocking defeat in the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act earlier this week.
“Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “It is killing the R Party, allows 8 Dems to control country. 200 Bills sit in Senate. A JOKE!”
Trump was referring to a longstanding Senate rule, which requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the upper chamber.
Trump said the “very outdated” rule “must go” and added, “Budget reconciliation is killing R’s in Senate. Mitch M, go to 51 Votes NOW and WIN. IT’S TIME!”
This is not the first time Trump has urged the Senate’s Republican leadership to get rid of the filibuster. Just on Friday, Trump called the 60-vote rule “senseless.”
He added: “Republicans in the Senate will NEVER win if they don’t go to a 51 vote majority NOW. They look like fools and are just wasting time……” He continued, “8 Dems totally control the U.S. Senate. Many great Republican bills will never pass, like Kate’s Law and complete Healthcare. Get smart!”
“If the Senate Democrats ever got the chance, they would switch to a 51 majority vote in first minute,” Trump said in another tweet. “They are laughing at R’s. MAKE CHANGE!”
But Trump didn’t stop there – later Saturday afternoon he called for a new healthcare bill to be approved, and appeared to threaten congressional members’ health benefits and cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments meant to stabilize the individual insurance market.
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump tweeted.
“Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!”
Trump’s tweets aimed at Senate Republicans came on the heels of ablistering defeatthe president and the GOP were handed earlier this week, when members of their own party defected and came out against the so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put forward late Thursday night.
- Reuters/Carlos Barria
In addition to all 48 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, three Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain – also voted against the measure, effectively killing the GOP’s efforts to overhaul the healthcare system.
Trump also weighed in on the ongoing controversy surrounding his campaign’s possible ties to Russia on Saturday morning.
In reply to a Fox & Friends tweet saying that the firm behind the explosive Trump-Russia dossier also worked for Russia, Trump tweeted, “In other words, Russia was against Trump in the 2016 Election – and why not, I want strong military & low oil prices. Witch Hunt!”
The claim against the firm, Fusion GPS, was made by Bill Browder, a former hedge fund manager who spearheaded the passage of the Magnitsky Act after his tax lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in a Russian prison in 2009.
Browder alleged in a complaint filed with the Treasury Department last year that Fusion’s work for the US law firm BakerHostetler violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act because it served Russian government interests.
Michelle Mark contributed to this report.