01-09-2017, 12:07 PM
By BURGESS EVERETT
After Rand Paul spent the last week urging the GOP not to repeal Obamacare without having a replacement plan ready, his phone rang on Friday night with a call from a new supporter: Donald Trump.
“He called after seeing an interview that I had done that we should vote on Obamacare replacement at the same time,” Paul said in an interview on Monday. “He said he was in complete agreement with that.”
With Trump going out of his way to bless the Kentucky senator’s approach, Paul’s week-long campaign to hold a vote on replacing Obamacare alongside a simultaneous repeal measure has seemingly upended the GOP’s long-sought plans for a cathartic and immediate vote to gut the health care law. As news broke that Trump backed Paul's play, several other Senate Republicans were also beginning calls for a new strategy — threatening the trajectory of the party’s rush to repeal the law.
Paul said he wasn’t trying to slow the process down, but instead said it’s a “matter of speeding up” the replacement efforts. He’s putting together an initial proposal containing the GOP’s best ideas and will ship them this afternoon to Trump’s administration after getting buy-in from the president-elect.