President Trump sidled up to the podium Wednesday at a rally to kick off his tax reform effort and made a claim that even die-in-the-wool Trumpers couldn’t possibly have thought was true. He said, “We have the votes for Graham-Cassidy.” He then complained about the filibuster rule. He either doesn’t know that since the bill was introduced until the end of September he needs only 50 votes in the Senate, he can’t count, or his just doesn’t care if what he states as fact simply isn’t factual.
Are we really so desensitized to Trump’s lies that we just shake off the smaller ones? Not that this one was particularly small. For the record, no, Republicans do not have enough votes to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, the latest repeal and replacement of Obamacare. They needed 50 and Vice President Pence to pass it. GOP Sens. McCain, Collins and Paul are solid “no’s.” Fellow Republican Sens. Cruz, Lee and Murkowski teetered on the fence. Republicans control the Senate 52-48. A calculator is not needed to see that three defections kill the bill. Hence, there will be no vote at all.
What was curious about his comments is that he used as excuses for not passing the bill the filibuster rule and the medical condition of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.
First, the filibuster rule is not in effect and won’t be until Sunday. Republicans need only 50 votes; 50 when the bill was introduced, 50 today, 50 until Sunday.
Second, despite Trump repeatedly citing Cochran’s hospitalization as a reason the bill couldn’t pass, Cochran is not in the hospital and would have been a solid yes vote. It wouldn’t have mattered, he still didn’t have enough.
In Indiana, Trump also alluded to getting Alaska Democratic Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote for Graham-Cassidy. But it doesn’t matter. She could have voted yes and it wouldn’t have made a difference.
If any other president had shown what is either an easiness with lying or a cluelessness on how the process works, they’d be raked over the coals. Not Trump. People simply dismiss what he says as if it’s not important that he tell the truth.