Bill collapse shows strong-arm tactics don’t work, says expert
IN the end, the Closer couldn’t close the deal. For United States President Donald Trump, the collapse on Friday of his first legislative priority, a healthcare reform bill, was an embarrassing loss of face.
It came after he and his adIt ministration insisted up until the time of the vote by the House of Representatives that there was enough Republican support.
It brings into question the neophyte president’s ability to move big-ticket legislation through Congress. And, for a celebrity businessman who brands himself a deal-maker and fixer, it also casts doubt over his ability to deliver on his bold “drain-theswamp” promises to shake up Washington.
The White House wants to advance tax reform and a massive infrastructure package this year, but now it must address whether a change of approach is needed and whether congressional allies, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, can be counted on to deliver.
“This is the most consequential day of Trump’s presidency and it’s not just a failure, it’s a stunning failure,” Charlie Sykes, an influential Wisconsin Republican political commentator and frequent Trump critic, tweeted.
Trump appeared to chalk up the loss in part to his own inexperience after House leaders pulled their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare following defections by both moderate and far-right Republican members who were unmoved by Trump’s ultimatum to vote for the plan or live with the current system.
“We learned a lot about loyalty. We learned a lot about the vote-getting process,”
Trump said after the bill was withdrawn, adding that he would move forward with other priorities.
was yet another setback for an administration barely two months in office that has seen its national security adviser resign, had its immigration restrictions struck down in courts and faces questions about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Trump’s hallmark salesmanship seemed to abandon him last week. Although he furiously courted the hard-line conservatives opposed to the reform bill, they largely refused to yield, and in the process, he alienated moderates who initially supported the bill.
He then switched tactics and gave up trying to bring the con“This servative opponents into the fold, instead delivering an ultimatum that Republicans needed to back the bill. That did not work either.
Trump also failed to persuade the American public that the bill was an improvement over the one it would have repealed and replaced: the Affordable Care Act — the signature domestic achievement of former president Barack Obama. Polls showed the replacement bill to be deeply unpopular, and conservative Republicans complained that their offices were being deluged by calls from constituents opposing it.