The buck now stops with Donald Trump.
The President on Tuesday fully embraced a House Republican plan to repeal Obamacare, shouldering a high-risk mission that holds huge implications for his own political future.
In the process, the one-time insurgent, who spent months blasting the Washington establishment, becomes the critical lever in making the GOP monopoly on power a vehicle to reshape the nation.
The unveiling of the Republican bill to dismantle the central pillar of President Barack Obama’s legacy was a significant moment in a new administration keen to make fundamental change.
But with conservative groups blasting the measure as “Obamacare Lite” and lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul already warning it is “dead on arrival,” the White House was forced to send Trump to center stage to rescue the bill’s launch.
The idea of repealing Obamacare alone was once enough to unite the party, but differences on how to do it are beginning to tear at Hill Republicans.
Lawmakers are learning only political capital can drive big-ticket agenda items like health care reform into law. For a President who regards himself as the ultimate deal maker, the repeal of Obamacare represents a test of credibility after his campaign trail boasts about scoring big wins.