President Trump confirmed Tuesday that he intends to go around Congress and use the “power of the pen” to pursue health care changes after multiple bills failed on Capitol Hill.
“Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people – FAST,” Trump tweeted, suggesting he would use executive action on health care.
The White House reportedly is putting the final touches on an executive order that would expand health care options by allowing people to band together and buy insurance beyond state lines. The president’s tweets seemed to confirm those reports.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., responded early Tuesday and touted the proposed executive action.
"This will be a great plan & a big deal for millions of Americans. I’ve been working with @realDonaldTrump for months on this. Details soon!" Paul tweeted.
Trump is expected to sign the order this week.
Trump briefly discussed his plans on the sidelines of an Oval Office meeting later Tuesday with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, saying his plan would help a “big percentage” of people.
“They’ll be able to buy, they’ll be able to cross state lines and they will get great, competitive health care and it will cost the United States nothing,” Trump said.
He said that with Congress deadlocked, “I decided to take it upon myself.”
The president’s move comes after the GOP-led Senate failed to garner votes for a deal last month.
The president seemed to shift his focus from Republicans to Democrats over the weekend, saying he had spoken with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to collaborate on a health care plan. Trump told reporters on Saturday that he was willing to consider a “temporary deal.”
But Schumer said the president “wanted to make another run at ‘repeal and replace’ and I told the president that’s off the table.” Schumer noted that Democrats, however, were open to his suggestions.
The president has also tried negotiating with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on an immigration package to help so-called 'Dreamers.' But Schumer and Pelosi balked at Trump's recent demands for border security and other measures as part of any deal.
The president lashed out at Democratic leaders Tuesday morning for their response.
“The problem with agreeing to a policy on immigration is that the Democrats don’t want secure borders, they don’t care about safety for U.S.A,” Trump tweeted.
The administration has outlined a series of conditions on any DACA deal including: additional crackdowns on “sanctuary cities;” reducing the number of incoming refugees; 10,000 more Customs and Border Patrol agents; and new initiatives curbing the number of unaccompanied immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally as children.