(CNSNews.com) – The White House said Tuesday that people on both sides of the aisle are reaching out “to both the president and key staff members to share ideas and additional ways forward” on the health care bill.
“Have we had some discussions and listened to ideas? Yes. Are we actively planning an immediate strategy? Not at this time. I think there is a discussion that began, as I mentioned yesterday, of a lot of individuals on both sides of the aisle reaching out to both the president and key staff members to share ideas and additional ways forward. So there has been a discussion, and I believe there will be several more,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
When asked what he would say to those who question how the president plans to get “big ticket items like tax reform and infrastructure done” if he couldn’t get health care done, Spicer said, “We’re going to build a coalition for this.
“I think each of them have different constituencies, and I think we’re going to work with members on both sides of the aisle on both of those big-ticket issues to see where we can find agreement and move forward, but I don’t want to prejudge the outcome at this point,” Spicer said.
Spicer said President Donald Trump spoke with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over the weekend about “different policy aspects” of the House health care bill.
The press secretary said getting more people on board is a balancing act.
“The point that I made yesterday is to get to 216, to get to 218, depending on the day of the week, there are certain things that people want that would take what I think the president views as a very good bill that weren’t worth doing it because they would make the deal bad, and so the question is, can we add the additional votes in ways that enhance the bill or bring people over that have been previous skeptics?” Spicer said.
“But there’s a way in which people are saying, hey, if you bring me on board with these five provisions, then I’m on board — in which either, A, take people off the bill, or don’t make it as strong and make it a bad deal, and I think that’s the balancing act that has to happen,” he said.
“One is, can you add additional folks on without pushing additional folks off, and two is that, what you have to add to the bill, does it make it stronger or does it not? Because I think there are suggestions by some out there that have said we’re willing to come along with the bill, but in doing so it would make it a bad deal, and that’s an important aspect, is how do you take whatever that number is that we have now and get it up to 216 to pass without making — without losing people and/or making it a bad deal?” Spicer added.