Yet another ill wind for Trump

2017-07-30 05:55
(Evan Vucci, AP)

(Evan Vucci, AP)

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In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, US President Donald Trump railed against Senate rules requiring 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, just a day after the chamber dealt a devastating setback to the GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“Republicans in the Senate will NEVER win if they don’t go to a 51 vote majority NOW,” Trump tweeted.

“They look like fools and are just wasting time.”

This was after he suffered a stinging blow as Republicans in the Senate failed on Friday to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare.

In doing so, they fell short on a major campaign promise and perhaps even ended a seven-year quest by their party to reject the healthcare law.

Voting in the early hours, three Republican senators crossed party lines to join Democrats in a dramatic 49 to 51 vote to reject a “skinny repeal” bill that would have eliminated some parts of Obamacare.

Trump’s failure sent the dollar down against a basket of other currencies on Friday.

The setback leaves him without a major legislative win after more than six months in power, even though Republicans control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

He had been expected to make rapid changes to healthcare, taxes and infrastructure spending.

The Affordable Care Act, approved by Democrats in 2010, was former president Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

It provided health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans. But it was denounced from the outset by Republicans, who viewed it as government intrusion on people’s healthcare decisions.

While this defeat was happening, Trump’s other troubles resurfaced.

The Senate sent the president a bill proposing harsher sanctions against Russia.

Trump cannot veto the bill as it has overwhelming support from both sides of the political divide.

Trump fumed at the loss after the vote, tweeting that the three Republicans “let the American people down”, linking them to the Democrats who were uniformly against the plan.

Current Senate rules mandate that 60 senators – three-fifths of the 100-member Senate – must agree in order to end debate and move forward to a vote on a measure or piece of legislation – a process known as invoking cloture.

While the Senate has invoked the so-called “nuclear option” in the past to get certain nominations – most recently Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch – through the chamber by a simple majority vote, there is currently no method for doing so with legislation.

– Reuters and other agencies

Read more on:    donald trump  |  barack obama  |  us

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