On this, at least, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi agree: there is little appetite for bipartisan cooperation on health care in the wake of the failure of the American Health Care Act.
Ryan, a Republican, told CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell in an interview broadcast Thursday that he doesn’t want to see President Trump negotiating a health care compromise with Democrats.
“I don’t want that to happen. You know why? I want a patient-centered system, I don’t want government running health care,” Ryan said.
Pelosi, in an interview with Face the Nation earlier this month, sounded a similarly defiant note. “First of all, we are not working with anybody who says we’re going to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi told moderator John Dickerson. “Repeal? No. That is not going to happen.”
Ryan confirmed in Thursday’s interview that repealing Obamacare is still very much the goal, despite the collapse of the AHCA last week in the House. He also warned that if Republicans are unsuccessful in passing their own reforms, the president could “just go work with Democrats to try and change Obamacare and that’s not, that’s hardly a conservative thing.”
Looking beyond health care, Pelosi identified a few policy areas on which Democrats could collaborate with Republicans and the administration – priorities Mr. Trump has said he wants to pursue – but she lamented the lack of concrete action on those agenda items.
“What is it that he’s putting forth? He said he was going to put forth infrastructure. We said we look forward to working with him on it. But he’s put forth nothing,” she said. “We look forward to doing tax reform…to lower the corporate rate, to have fairness and transparency in our tax code, but he hasn’t put anything forward…[We] want to see a jobs bill. He says he wants to renegotiate NAFTA. Our members look forward to that, but we haven’t seen anything.”