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"If Congress doesn't act to save Americans from this Democrat-inflicted catastrophe, next year is only going to be worse", President Trump said before a meeting with Mr. McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Senate Republicans are in agreement that their bill will be significantly different from what the House passed earlier this year, but that is where consensus ends. Or the House or Senate get tax reform week. Trump praised the House for passing its own health care bill and encouraged the Senate to "follow suit and get a bill across the finish line this summer".

"We wish it weren't this way, but the reality is that it will be a partisan exercise", said Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director.

The visit also comes at a time when China, one of New Zealand's top trading and diplomatic partners, is projecting itself as the leader of free trade particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The calendar quickly turns to 2018, an election year, after that.

Donald Trump's legislative agenda is stalled on Capitol Hill, collateral damage to a mix of swirling controversies - including the firing of FBI Director James Comey and Russian Federation investigation - and the President's off-the-cuff style that has Republican lawmakers constantly responding to the crisis du jour.

"My personal view is we have now until the Fourth of July to decide whether the votes are there or not, and I hope they are", the Missouri Republican said.

Cooper, holding a news conference Monday as House and Senate budget talks officially begin, said the chambers' plans are too tight with spending and too loose with tax cuts when there are great needs and a sizeable surplus.

The White House acknowledged that the Russian Federation investigation had taken its toll.

Republicans, like Graham, are hopeful that the meeting will lead to more coordination between the White House and Capitol Hill.

"[Rand's] not going to vote for any bill that has refundable tax credits to help low-income people buy healthcare", Graham said. After all, the Democratic National Committee opposed him and his far-left ideas just as much as Republicans did. "I'm waiting for the small print at this point", Heller said. Cassidy had said the Senate's bill must pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test" to ensure families can afford health care for children with pre-existing health conditions. It's because, after years of infighting, culminating in the passage of the House GOP's American Health Care Act, they still haven't found an ACA replacement that can pass both the House and the Senate.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, defended the process, saying it fostered comity among Republicans.

While Republicans point out their plans would lower tax bills for almost all individual tax filers, Cooper said the highest wage earners and corporations still shouldn't be getting breaks after previous cuts.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican, said that ideally the Senate would vote this month, but certainly before scattering for Congress' annual August recess. And the entire Republican conference is set to be briefed on a menu of options for how to move forward during their all-member lunch Tuesday. "We've already lost [Sen.] Rand Paul [R-Ky.], so we're down to 51". "I think it's our responsibility". John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of GOP leadership, who added that the Senate's legislation would not have the "abrupt cut-off" for Medicaid expansion included in the House bill.

Despite years of promises to get rid of Obama's health law, Republicans have discovered that doing so is much more hard than anticipated. Current funding runs out September 30, and many Republicans are hoping to enact spending cuts, which could complicate the process. The House of Representatives passed a bill in May.

Moderate Senators such as Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) remain wary about Republicans' efforts to roll back Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Pressed to elaborate, a spokesperson said: "Senator Murkowski has been hearing from people all over the state, including hospitals, providers, disability advocates, and the State legislature that it has been a large net positive for Alaska".

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) told the Daily News as he exited the meeting that it was a "big umbrella" discussion of the bill lacking in crucial details.


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