- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

President Trump lashed out at Democrats Tuesday for the collapse of a key health care bill in the Senate, saying the development has motivated him to campaign to get more Republicans elected next year.

“The majority margin is so small, we’re going to have to go out and get more Republicans elected in ‘18,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “And I’ll be working very hard for that to happen.”

The bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, a crucial part of Mr. Trump’s agenda, fell apart Monday night when two Republican senators, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah, came out against it. Combined with two other GOP senators who already had announced their opposition, it left Republicans shy of the 50 votes needed to pass the measure.

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate, and Mr. Trump said that margin simply isn’t big enough with all Democrats opposing his agenda.

“We have 52 people, we had no Democrat support. We had four ‘no’s,’ ” the president said. “It would be nice to have Democrat support but really they’re obstructionist. They have no ideas. They have no thought process. All they want to do is obstruct government and obstruct, period.”

Mr. Trump had been hosting a group of GOP senators at the White House Monday night about the health care bill and acknowledged that he was blindsided by the opposition from Mr. Moran and Mr. Lee.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump sticks with call to let Obamacare fail

“I was very surprised when the two folks came out last night because we thought they were in fairly good shape,” the president said. “They’re not disloyal; they had their own reasons. They’re going to have to explain to me why they did, and I’m sure they’ll have very fine reasons. But we have to get more Republicans elected because we have to get it done.”

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Trump had tweeted, “We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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