House GOP Whip: Entitlement Reform, ObamaCare Repeal on 2018 Agenda

ObamaCare repeal and entitlement reform are at the top of the agenda for House Republicans in 2018, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Tuesday.

“The next big thing you’re going to see is a need for workers, and I think the next thing we can do is to go and reform those welfare programs that are trapping people in a failed welfare state,” Scalise said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning.

“Let’s actually put some work requirements in place so that we can get people back to work, rebuild the middle class.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said recently that Republicans will focus on giving states “more flexibility in Medicaid,” which could involve allowing them to impose work requirements on recipients.

Scalise also indicated House Republicans would turn back to ObamaCare repeal in 2018.

“We’re going to have to work on health care again. I’m for repealing and replacing ObamaCare,” Scalise said.

Congress repealed ObamaCare’s individual mandate through its tax-reform legislation that passed at the end of last year.

“Now we need to go and fix the things wrong in health care that are jacking up the costs, so lets get back to work on some of those things, like what we passed in the House, that almost passed in the Senate, so that we can get our health-care system working and rebuild a private marketplace,” he said, referring to the ObamaCare repeal bill the House passed last year.

Senate GOP leadership, however, are throwing cold water on both of those goals, noting the party’s shrinking majority in the upper chamber.

“Well, we obviously were unable to completely repeal and replace with a 52-48 Senate,” McConnell said last month. “We’ll have to take a look at what that looks like with a 51-49 Senate. But I think we’ll probably move on to other issues.”

He also noted that entitlement reform would have to be bipartisan to pass the Senate, but Democrats are unlikely to support changes to Medicaid.