President Donald Trump on Monday refused to take any blame for legislative failures and fingered Republican senators for “not getting the job done.”
“Despite what the press writes, I have great relationships with, actually, many senators, but, in particular, with most Republican senators,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with his Cabinet. “But we’re not getting the job done. And I’m not going to blame myself. I’ll be honest, they are not getting the job done.”
The president specifically blamed Senate Republicans for failing to follow through on a years-old GOP pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Senate leaders shelved their repeal bill last month after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and at least two other Republicans said they’d vote against it.
“We’ve had health care approved, and then you had the surprise vote by John McCain,” said Trump. We’ve had other things happen and they’re not getting the job done.”
He added: “I’m not happy about it and a lot of people aren’t happy about it. We need tax cuts. We need health care. Now, we’re going to get the health care done.”
In response to a reporter’s question about former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s reported war on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and “the Republican establishment,” Trump said he “can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from” because of the GOP-led Senate’s failures.
This is the second time this month that Trump’s White House has complained that Congress is “not getting the job done.” Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used the same phrase during a news conference last week.
Sanders, responding to criticism that Trump is alienating himself from Republicans in Congress, said:
“I don’t think he’s alienated anyone. Congress has alienated themselves by not actually getting the job done that the people of this country elected them to do. They all promised and campaigned on replacing Obamacare. They haven’t done that. They campaigned on tax reform. Hopefully we see that happen. We’re certainly committed to that and think we’ll get there. But time and time again, Congress has made problems and failed to deliver. If anyone’s being alienated, it’s people that are promising things and not delivering on them.”
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