President Donald Trump said Friday he is in “no particular rush” to see legislative action started on replacing the Affordable Care Act and overhauling the American tax system.
“We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters after signing an executive order at the Treasury Department. “No particular rush, but we’ll see what happens.”
Trump had appeared to seek a flurry of legislative activity when Congress returns from its recess next week. The president said Thursday he thinks Congress can both keep the government open before the April 28 deadline and start the process of repealing Obamacare next week.
Then on Friday, he promised a “big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” without giving more details on what he would reveal.
Congress moving on any more than one of those processes in a week could prove daunting, amid divisions within the GOP caucus. On Friday, Bloomberg cited an unnamed senior administration official as saying the new tax plan was unlikely to include a border-adjusted tax backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, which has divided Republicans.
Yet Trump did not insist on a health-care vote next week when reporters asked him about it Friday afternoon.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s next week. Next week doesn’t matter,” Trump said.
The White House hopes language on a possible health-care deal can come as early as Friday or Saturday, leaving the potential for an agreement next week, a White House official told CNBC earlier Friday.
It would be legislative text added as an amendment to the American Health Care Act, the bill that could not clear the House last month, NBC News reported. The Senate Budget Committee is giving technical assistance with the language.
Republicans have struggled to reach a compromise agreement to replace the Affordable Care Act that balances the concerns of both the conservative and moderate wings of the party. An attempt to replace President Barack Obama’s landmark health-care law failed last month as House Republicans could not gather enough support.
It is unclear if the revised version of the health-care plan reported by multiple outlets Thursday could gather the votes needed to pass the House.
The Senate Budget Committee is involved to make sure the plan complies with the Byrd Rule, which governs whether Congress can use the budget reconciliation process to lower the vote threshold. With reconciliation, it would only require a majority in the 100-member Senate, not 60 votes.