Republicans say they reached out on health care. Chuck Schumer says Trump "never called."

Republicans say they reached out on health care. Chuck Schumer says Trump "never called."
Source: AP
Source: AP

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took to the talk-show circuit Sunday morning to offer his assessment of why the American Health Care Act failed. A staunch opponent of the bill since its announcement, Schumer's argument that the bill died because it catered to the "hard-right" House Freedom Caucus was no surprise. On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan offered a similar explanation. 

But the Senate Democratic leader did make one statement that doesn't jell with the Republican talking points. On ABC's This Week, Schumer said "the president never called us once" to work on the health care bill. 

It's a statement House Republicans and the president staunchly disagree with. "Look, we got no Democratic votes," President Donald Trump told the New York Times shortly after the bill was pulled Friday. "We got none, zero."

Trump blamed Democrats for failing to make changes to the Affordable Care Act, something for which many Democrats were only too happy to take credit.

After emerging from Ryan's office on Friday, following the bill's failure, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) told Mic, "There wasn't a single Democrat that worked with us on any piece of this." 

"We reached out," said Walden, the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce who spearheaded the writing of AHCA. "We had meetings. We hope they'll join us, but that's yet to be seen."

Later Friday, Democratic members of Congress differed with Walden's view of conversations between the GOP and Democrats. Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, a Democrat on Walden's House committee, told Mic Republicans own the failure of the AHCA and did not reach out to Democrats. 

"This is what happens when you design a bill without engaging Democrats at all, without reaching across the aisle once since [Trump] came into office," Kennedy said, adding yet another voice to the dizzying back and forth.

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Will Drabold

Will Drabold is a policy writer at Mic. He writes Navigating Trump's America, Mic's daily read on Donald Trump's America. He is based in Washington, D.C., and can be reached at wdrabold@mic.com

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