By Jeff Cahlon
After Congressional Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare failed to reach a vote in the House of Representatives, House Speaker Paul Ryan surprised many political observers by announcing he would support a Democrat for president in 2020.
“Electing a Democratic president is the only way to get the House to vote to repeal Obamacare,” Ryan explained.
Ryan pointed out that, back when Barack Obama was president, “hardly a week went by when the House didn’t vote to repeal Obamacare,” secure in the knowledge that President Obama would never allow the bill to become law. “It was so much fun,” Ryan recalled wistfully.
When Obama was president, Ryan went on to explain, House Republicans “voted over and over again to repeal Obamacare, just because it was such a blast. No one could even keep track of how many times we did it. Was it 80 times? A hundred? All I know is, I miss those days.”
But with Donald Trump in the White House, promising to sign Obamacare repeal into law if it passes Congress, “those glory days are over,” Ryan said.
Ryan emphasised that he remained proud of his work on the Republicans’ health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act.
Noting that President Trump did not want the AHCA to be known as “Trumpcare”, Ryan said, “With this bill, we created something so bad that Donald Trump looked at it and said, ‘No, I won’t put my name on that.’ That’s something that had never happened before. Hell, no one even thought that was possible. That fills me with immense pride.”
But President Trump nonetheless promised to sign the bill into law, which Ryan said doomed the bill’s chances to pass the House.
“Look,” Ryan said, “I can’t even tell you how many members said to me, ‘I want to vote for this bill, I really do. And if Hillary Clinton — or hell any Democrat–was in the White House to veto it, I definitely would. But with Trump as president, this stinker could actually become law, and I just can’t have that on my conscience.’”
Although some political analysts have blamed President Trump, or even Ryan himself, for the bill’s failure, Ryan said he believes the fault lies elsewhere. “Personally, I blame Hillary Clinton,” Ryan said. “If she hadn’t run such a terrible campaign, she would be president today, and this bill would have sailed through Congress.”
Ryan went on to add that repealing Obamacare is not the only part of Congressional Republicans’ agenda that is imperilled by having Donald Trump in the White House. Ryan said, “I have ideas for lots of other really bad legislation but I’m afraid that, with President Trump in the White House ready to sign any piece of garbage we put in front of him, some members might be reluctant to vote for it. That’s why we need a Democrat in the White House.”
But Ryan remains optimistic that, one day, the glory days will return. “I’m confident that, if we can get a Democrat back in the White House, Congressional Republicans will get back to doing what we are good at: passing horrible legislation that has no chance of becoming law,” Ryan said. “And isn’t that what governing is all about?”
Asked whether perhaps Congressional Republicans should consider coming up with legislation that would actually be good for the country, Ryan burst out laughing. “Good one,” he said.