Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul
Making a final push, United States President Donald Trump said he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "that far off" on a health overhaul to replace "the dead carcass of Obamacare".
Expressing frustration, he complained about "the level of hostility" in government and wondered why both parties can't work together on the Senate bill as GOP critics expressed doubt over a successful vote this week.
It was the latest signs of high-stakes manoeuvring over a key campaign promise, and the president signalled a willingness to deal.
"We have a very good plan," Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. Referring to Republican senators opposed to the bill, he added: "They want to get some points, I think they'll get some points."
Trump's comments come amid the public opposition of five Republican senators so far to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law.
Unless those holdouts can be swayed, their numbers are more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and deliver a bitter defeat for the president. That's because unanimous opposition is expected from Democrats in a chamber in which Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority.
Trump bemoaned the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, having belittled prominent Democrats himself.
"It would be so great if the Democrats and Republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it and come up with something that everybody's happy with," the president said. "And I'm open arms; but, I don't see that happening. They fight each other. The level of hostility."