WASHINGTON — With the passage of the American Health Care Act in grave doubt just hours before the House votes on the bill, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump has “left everything on the field” to advance the legislation.
“Has he pulled out every stop, has he called every member, has he tweaked every tweak, has he done every single thing he can possibly, and used every minute of every day that’s possible to get this thing through, then the answer is yes. Has the team put everything out there, have we left everything out on the field? Absolutely.
“But at the end of the day, this isn’t a dictatorship.”
While speaking in a muted tone, Spicer declined to directly address the strong possibility that the vote could fail, and instead repeatedly chided reporters for being too negative.
Spicer similarly wouldn’t say whether or not the president would take the blame if the bill fails.
While Trump and others in the White House have worked the phones, met with lawmakers and traveled to the Capitol, the president indicated Thursday that he was done negotiating.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney reportedly told House Republicans that Trump expects the bill to move forward as is, or he will allow the Affordable Care Act to remain in place, despite pledges from both the president and Republican lawmakers to repeal it.
Spicer defended the apparent ultimatum.
“At some point we either have a deal or we don’t,” Spicer said. “I think that is where the president has drawn the line.”