President Trump said Wednesday he still wants to tackle health care before moving on to tax reform, a shift that raises the stakes for congressional Republicans struggling to pin down an Obamacare replacement and untangle a web of fiscal deadlines.
After the collapse last month of the first GOP bid to repeal Obamacare, Mr. Trump said he was done with the thorny issue and was instead ready to pass historic tax cuts.
But he’s now come back to congressional Republicans’ stance, which is that the savings from repealing and replacing Obamacare will allow for deeper tax cuts.
“Health care’s going to happen at some point,” Mr. Trump said in an interview on Fox Business Network. “Now, if it doesn’t happen fast enough, I’ll start the taxes. But the tax reform and the tax cuts are better if I can do health care first.”
His budget director, Mick Mulvaney, echoed his comments in separate interviews with cable networks.
Their prodding reflects growing concern about legislative pile-up confronting Republicans, who have yet to notch any major wins from Capitol Hill this year.
“They have to make it work, because their standing in the House is in jeopardy, and Trump’s standing to do things after the midterms is as well,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said.