As the drama heightened over the GOP's Obamacare replacement bill Thursday, President Donald Trump told the Republican holdouts that he was done negotiating, and that if this bill didn't pass on Friday, they would be "stuck" with Obamacare.
Dana Bash reported the exchange to Anderson Cooper on CNN.
"It's unclear if they have the votes," Bash said, "but they're gonna move ahead and roll the dice and hope that that pressure's enough of people on the fence, or naysayers, to vote yes."
"This is what I'm told that the budget director," she continued, "that the president's budget director, a former member of the Freedom Caucus, a conservative caucus that forms of people that are holding out. Mick Mulvaney told Republicans behind the doors behind me, he said that the president wants a vote tomorrow, and is moving on after this vote regardless of what happens."
A source from within the room told Bash that if the bill doesn't pass, Trump said "he is moving on, and they will be stuck with Obamacare."
"That is an ultimatum that the White House is giving their fellow Republicans in the House, trying to push this along," Bash concluded.
Bash said that she spoke to Trump's top aide Steve Bannon, who was at the meeting and told her, "The president wants a vote tomorrow. There will be a vote tomorrow, and that he's confident he will be successful at the end of the day."
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 24, 2017
Freedom Caucus members have criticized the bill from the GOP leadership as being far too soft on repealing Obamacare, saying that it leaves the "scaffolding" in place of former President Barack Obama's signature bill. Trump has backed the bill completely, saying that it reflects his guidance from his promises on the campaign trail to the American people.
[graphiq id="fa9Jc9x9Wxn" title="Projected Change in US Federal Budget Deficit Under American Health Care Act" width="600" height="564" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/fa9Jc9x9Wxn" ]
Charles Krauthammer opined recently that if the bill didn't pass that it would threaten Trump's entire presidency. Meanwhile, a Freedom Caucus representative warned that if it passes that Trump will be a one-term president.