In an exclusive interview Wednesday, evangelical leader Pat Robertson asked President Donald Trump what would happen if Congress were unable to pass an Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill. Trump's answer was a warning to Republicans in the Senate.
"There are two two pieces of legislation the American people are really anxious to see put through," Robertson said. "One is this iniquitous Obamacare has got to go and be replaced. Number two, we've got to have a tax cut especially for small businesses, corporate tax. How far along are you on that?"
"And number three is infrastructure," Trump offered. "Which we're gonna do also. But number one repeal and replace. I am sitting in the Oval Office with a pen in hand, waiting for our senators to give it to me. For years they been talking about repeal and replace, repeal and replace. I think they passed it 61 times. Repeal and replace but that didn't mean anything because you had the minority, the Republicans."
"They didn't have the majority," he continued, "so it wasn't going to get to the president. But even if it did, Obama wasn't going to sign it. So it didn't mean anything. Now, we have a president that's waiting to sign it. I have pen in hand. So now it means something. You know those other times, those many many times that they passed it."
"What's the holdup?" Robertson asked.
"You have very good people," Trump responded. "These are very good people. We have 52 senators. It's very hard to get all, We need almost all of them. You need almost all of them. And that's the holdup. And states are somewhat different. But with all of that said, it has to get passed, they have to do it. They have to get together and get it done."
"What'll happen if they don't?" Robertson asked.
"Well, I don't even want to talk about it, because I think it would be very bad," Trump answered.
"I will be very angry about it, and a lot of people will be very upset," he warned.
"But I'm sitting waiting for that bill to come to my desk," he said. "I hope that they do it. They've been promising it for years. They've been promising it since Obamacare, which is failed, it's a failed experiment. It's totally gone, it's out of business, and we have to get this done, repeal and replace."
"[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is a tactician of great skill," Robertson said. "Do you think he can pull it off? It's his job."
"Uh, he's got to pull it off. Mitch has to pull it off. He's working very hard. He's got to pull it off," Trump concluded.
The GOP alternative to the Obamacare health care bill has hit many stumbling blocks — even after a version passed the House of Representatives narrowly, the Senate took up its own version from scratch. The Senate version of the bill is being hammered out, but moderate Republicans are objecting to accommodations made to the more conservative faction and vice versa.
Trump has in the past threatened to help primary efforts against Republican members of Congress who defy him, as well as saying that if Republicans can't pass a bill that he'd try to garner support from moderate Democrats.