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Trump Claims To Move Some Republicans From 'No' To 'Yes' On GOP Health Care Bill

President Trump, accompanied by Vice President Pence, speaks during a meeting with the Republican Study Committee.
Evan Vucci
/
AP
President Trump, accompanied by Vice President Pence, speaks during a meeting with the Republican Study Committee.

Republican leaders plan to bring the American Health Care Act to the floor of the House for a vote next Thursday, and President Trump is now publicly applying his deal-making skills to ensure passage.

"I just want to let the world know, I am 100 percent in favor," Trump told reporters brought to the Oval Office to see the tail end of his meeting with about a dozen members of the Republican Study Committee. That group of House members includes some who'd been lukewarm about the bill going into the meeting.

Trump claimed to have converted everyone he met with, saying "these folks were mostly no's yesterday and now every single one is a yes."

NPR and its member stations have been tracking where members of Congress stand on the health care bill, and several of those in the meeting had already indicated they would vote for it.

But some came in looking for changes to the legislation and changes they got. A senior GOP aide says they won two modifications to the bill during the White House meeting: an optional change to the way states receive Medicaid funding (if they want a block grant instead of federal payments based on per capita enrollment they can) and states would be given incentives to impose work requirements on those receiving Medicaid.

"We had a nice meeting. And we've been talking all during the night," Trump said. "This has been going all night long and we are doing some incredible things."

Later he added "they are tough," seeming to imply there had been some negotiating involved.

Afterward, Rep Mia Love, R-Utah, crowed on Twitter about extracting concessions.

But the Republican Study Committee is far from the only constituency within the House GOP that President Trump has to deal with. Moderate Republicans like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., have announced their opposition, and the changes agreed to by the president are likely to harden that opposition.

And some of the most conservative Republicans, those in the Freedom Caucus, remain unpersuaded.

Justin Amash, R-Mich., turned to Twitter after the president spoke to make it clear not all conservatives had been flipped.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.