Trump hits McConnell for Senate crash of Obama health repeal – Orange County Register

By ALAN FRAM

WASHINGTON  — President Donald Trump scolded his own party’s Senate leader on Wednesday for the crash of the Republican drive to repeal and rewrite the Obama health care law, using Twitter to demand of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “Why not done?”

Trump fired back at the Kentucky Republican for telling a home-state audience this week that the president had “not been in this line of work before, and I think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

The exchange came less than two weeks after the Senate’s rejection of the GOP effort to scuttle President Barack Obama’s health care law, probably McConnell’s most jolting defeat as leader and Trump’s worst legislative loss. The House approved its version in May, but its Senate failure — thanks to defecting GOP senators — marked the collapse of the party’s attempt to deliver on vows to erase Obama’s statute it’s made since the law’s 2010 enactment.

“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 had repeatedly used Twitter to pressure McConnell to find the votes to approve the health care bill, even saying hours after its failure that GOP senators “look like fools.”

But his tweet Wednesday was an unusually personal reproach of the 33-year Senate veteran, who is deeply respected by his fellow GOP lawmakers. Trump will need him to guide the next major Republican priority — a tax system overhaul — through the chamber, and he might be a useful White House ally as investigations progress into collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

For his part, McConnell’s statement was surprising because he is typically among the capital’s most guarded politicians. When it comes to criticizing Trump, he’s seldom gone further than saying he wishes he would stop tweeting, and often refused to chime in when Trump made widely condemned comments during last year’s presidential campaign.

McConnell told the Rotary Club of Florence, Ky., on Monday that people think Congress is underperforming partly because “artificial deadlines, unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating, may not have been fully understood.”

He added that 52 is “a challenging number,” a reference to the GOP’s scant 52-48 Senate majority. “You saw that on full display a couple of…

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