(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump golfed Sunday with an outspoken Republican opponent of the failed legislation to change the Affordable Care Act, hours after insisting there’s enough “love and strength” among factions of the party to find a new path forward.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky joined Trump and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney at the White House before riding in the presidential motorcade to the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told reporters the threesome planned to discuss a range of topics, including health care, during their round, which took place on a sunny spring day perfect for hitting the links. The outing took place just days after Trump laid into conservative lawmakers, saying the House Freedom Caucus “will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, and fast.”
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House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act bill, which had been heavily promoted by Trump and White House aides, in late March after it became clear it faced too much opposition within the party and would be voted down on the House floor. Paul was among those who said it wouldn’t have had sufficient support in the Senate either.
The AHCA bill would change ACA funding provisions and some other, related provisions. The Trump administration and House Republicans describe it as a bill that would repeal and replace the ACA.
Trump said in tweets early Sunday that talks on “Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.”
Anybody, especially the media, “who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength” in the Republican Party, Trump assured his 27 million Twitter followers.