President Donald Trump still wants to pass a health care bill before he turns to tax reform.
“We’re going to have a phenomenal tax reform, but I have to do health care first,” Trump said, according to an excerpt of an interview with Fox Business released Tuesday and set to air Wednesday. “I want to do it first to really do it right.”
A House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s 2010 health care reform law, failed last month in what amounted to a huge setback for the White House, which had backed the bill.
After House leaders were forced to pull the bill from the floor when it became clear they lacked the votes to pass it, Trump said he was ready to move on from health care and pursue an overhaul of the tax code. Lawmakers and administration officials have since offered conflicting signals, with some saying they are not yet ready to give up on health care.
Trump told Fox Business he did not want to “put deadlines” on either legislative goal, but he insisted that “health care’s gonna happen at some point” and noted that passing health care legislation could save money and make it easier to pass tax reform afterward.
Still, the president suggested that he was not fully committed to that chronology.
“Now, if it doesn’t happen fast enough, I’ll start the taxes,” Trump said. “But the tax reform and the tax cuts are better if I can do health care first.”