Paul Ryan: I don't want to work with Democrats on health care

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said he does not want President Donald Trump to work with Democrats on new legislation for revamping the country's health insurance system, commonly called Obamacare. He vowed to "fight them" in 2018 if they don't get behind him. The White House argues the total package will propel the effective spending total well above Trump's target, Time says. Republicans plunged into a blame game over the demise of the years-long push to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation, with members sniping at each other over how much they can work with Democrats - or even the White House.

Mr. Trump bookended Thursday with tweets attacking the House Freedom Caucus, declaring war on his "friends".

A top Republican senator subtly called out House Speaker Paul Ryan for saying he anxious that President Donald Trump might turn to Democrats to get a bipartisan deal on a healthcare bill.

On Thursday morning, Trump tweeted: "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast".

An impasse between House moderates and Freedom Caucus members prompted the withdrawal last week of a bill to replace Obamacare that was supported by GOP leaders and the President.

"It didn't take long for the swamp to drain real Donald Trump", tweeted Rep. Justin Amash of MI. This is not on President Trump.

Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan research organization, said lawmakers for years have debated the best approach to tax reform. Trump's tweet placed the blame squarely with the conservatives, giving moderates who had also helped block the legislation a pass. But he's since criticized the Freedom Caucus for its resistance.

Freedom Caucus members, who back limited government and have defined themselves in opposition to the Washington establishment, have been a major headache for GOP leaders.

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The multiple prerogatives in the House come as the White House says it is preparing to release a tax plan of its own. "Democrats are smiling in D.C.", he tweeted, "that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club for Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & (Obamacare)!"

"I don't have anything to say at this point".

"[President Trump] actually was very apologetic about it, in that he said, 'I had no idea that that's what she was gonna talk about. The president is committed to going down the path he is", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

President Trump dared Rep. Mark Sanford to vote against the Obamacare repeal bill last week so he could put a primary challenger against the former governor in 2018, the congressman said. That's after President Donald Trump lashed out at the Republican conservative group Thursday morning.

"I understand the frustration", Ryan said. Some 26 percent said House Democrats were most responsible and 23 percent blamed House Republicans.

While Trump has floated bipartisan cooperation on health care and other issues in recent days, it hasn't stopped him from tweeting his anger about Democrats and members of the House Freedom Caucus who stand in his way.

  • Carolyn Briggs