Trump Fires Back at McConnell Over ‘Excessive Expectations’ Quip
President chides Senate GOP leader for Obamacare failure after remark on White House goals
President Donald Trump reacted strongly on Wednesday to the claim he expected too much from Congress, tweeting out an admonishment aimed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
After McConnell said on Monday that Trump may have had “excessive expectations” about congressional accomplishments, Trump fired back on Wednesday afternoon.
"Senator Mitch McConnell said I had 'excessive expectations,' but I don't think so," Trump tweeted. "After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?"
Trump was referring to the spectacular failure of the Republican-led Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, on July 28. McConnell could only muster 49 "yea" votes.
Three Republicans and 48 Democrats voted to kill a "skinny version" of Obamacare repeal, which for the rest of 2017 seems to be dead as a major legislative effort.
Republicans are facing major heat from GOP donors about the failure. Reports indicate at least $2 million has been lost from the Senate GOP's campaign committee as a result.
Back home in Kentucky, McConnell was trying to explain the failure when he seemed to blame the president for setting artificial deadlines.
"Our new president has of course not been in this line of work before and, I think, had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process," he said.
The deadlines, such as expecting a repeal of Obamacare within the first 200 days, was perhaps "unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating." Yet McConnell made such a promise himself earlier this year, when, during a GOP retreat with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), McConnell said a 200-day calendar might work better than a 100-day calendar, because of all the new presidential appointments the Senate had to approve.
The Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare since its passage in the spring of 2010. But when given their first major chance, they bickered about details, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) casting the deciding "no" vote.
The failure led many to ask why the Senate GOP balked. Reaction to McConnell's Monday remark, however, was not immediate. Things appeared to stew for a while before the White House reacted.
Earlier in the day, a sign of things to come was foreshadowed when Dan Scavino Jr., Trump's social media director, tweeted: "[McConnell] must have needed another 4 years — in addition to the 7 years — to repeal and replace Obamacare."
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