Trump Tells G.O.P Senators Not to Be “Total Quitters” on Health Bill

President Trump on Saturday scolded Congress for looking “like fools” and urged Republican senators not to be “total quitters” as he insisted that his push to overhaul the nation’s health care law remained viable, the day after it was rejected by the Senate.

To reinforce his demand, the president threatened to cut lawmakers’ own health insurance plans if Congress failed to revive the flagging seven-year effort to roll back the medical care program of former President Barack Obama.

It was the latest in a series of tweets he posted throughout the day, beginning shortly after 7 a.m., revealing how unsettled the president remains in losing a Senate vote to overhaul health care. One person familiar with his thinking said Mr. Trump was particularly focused on the unexpected defection of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who temporarily shelved cancer treatment in his home state and flew back to Washington to reject the president’s efforts with a dramatic thumbs-down vote.

Mr. Trump is holding out hope that the Senate will return to health care in September, and bypass parliamentary obstacles to approve it by a simple majority, according to the person familiar with the president’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Indeed, several of Mr. Trump’s tweets on Saturday criticized use of the Senate filibuster, including one that specifically targeted Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader.

Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate. The proposal this past week to repeal portions of the health care law, as long demanded by Mr. Trump, required a simple 51-vote majority to pass but failed. It was not clear how he expected to win enough votes, or what might be different, with a new effort.

By midafternoon, Mr. Trump escalated his attack on lawmakers by taking aim at their own health care plans.

The president has sought for months to end federal subsidies for insurance markets. And as recently as Friday, staunch conservatives have demanded the end of a special subsidy for House and Senate lawmakers and their staffs, through a District of Columbia insurance exchange, instead of a system specifically for federal employees.

In a statement on Saturday, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said health care costs would rise for millions of Americans should the federal subsidy for insurance markets be scrapped.

“The president ought to stop playing politics with people’s lives and health care, start leading and finally begin acting presidential,” Mr. Schumer said.

Mr. Trump’s repeated criticisms of Senate process also have rankled Republican leaders.

Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Mr. McConnell, declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s posts. “If the leader issues any statements, we’ll be sure to pass along,” she said.

Mr. McConnell’s former chief of staff, Josh Holmes, cited Mr. Trump’s tweets on Saturday as he sardonically suggested on Twitter a “search for the idiot who keeps putting the President on irrelevant and counterproductive crusades.”

Mr. McConnell changed the filibuster rules to allow all presidential nominees to be confirmed by a simple majority, and he extended that to allow Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, to be confirmed as well.

But historically, and facing increasingly narrow elections that can flip control of the Senate every few years, most senators have opposed permanently jettisoning the rule that allows the minority party to indefinitely obstruct something that has majority support. Mr. McConnell has made clear he opposes such a move, as have other members of the Republican caucus. That means that even if he wanted to, he could not end the filibuster on his own.

The president on Saturday also cited a “Fox and Friends” report that claimed Russia was behind an investigation that last year produced a dossier about alleged unseemly incidents in Mr. Trump’s past. He said the Fox report showed that “Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election” and again blasted the several continuing federal investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia as a “witch hunt.”

Late Friday, the White House announced that Mr. Trump would sign legislation that limits his power to lift sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The White House had initially resisted the bill.

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