President Donald Trump is deploying an outside and inside strategy to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” seeking support beyond Washington before making an in-person pitch on Capitol Hill.
Trump rallied supporters Monday night in Louisville, Kentucky, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after meetings and phone calls in Washington aimed at steadying the troubled legislation designed to erase President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. He planned to court House Republicans on Tuesday.
“We want a very big tax cut, but cannot do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the disaster known as ‘Obamacare,'” Trump told the crowd of thousands in Louisville. “This is our long-awaited chance to finally get rid of ‘Obamacare.’ It’s a long-awaited chance. We’re going to do it,” he said.
At the White House on Monday, the president met with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of Obama’s health care law and the brother of Obama’s White House chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Trump was resuming his campaign-style events at the start of a consequential week for his young presidency. Confirmation hearings for his nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, opened Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House was expected to vote Thursday on the GOP-backed health care bill.
Trump’s Louisville rally, his third since his inauguration, followed a daylong congressional hearing in which FBI Director James Comey acknowledged for the first time that the agency was investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials seeking to influence the 2016 campaign.
Trump’s aides and congressional Republicans spent the weekend trying to woo conservatives and moderate House members who have questioned the health care plan. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House’s No. 3 Republican and the leader…