Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer refused to reopen negotiations on a bipartisan deal to fund Obamacare insurance payments after President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan opposed it.
Schumer said the agreement reached by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Tuesday is a good deal and that they shouldn't go back to the table. Alexander had tweeted that he would work to strengthen the agreement to win Trump's support.
"They came up with what we think is a balanced and fair plan and we ought to try to get that done," Schumer told reporters referring to Murray and Alexander. "Every time you come up with a plan somebody complains and they say lets renegotiate that doesn't work. So far it has been the president that has done that. Not Lamar, not Patty, not the House and Senate leadership."
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he couldn't support the agreement because the cost-sharing reduction payments that the deal would fund for two years are insurer "bailouts." House Speaker Paul Ryan followed suit a few hours later.
Schumer seemed surprised by Trump's about-face on the deal, as Trump had earlier urged Alexander to reopen talks with Murray to reach a deal. Trump decided on late Thursday to end the cost-sharing payments starting today.
"It is my understanding that when we had come up with our final agreement which happened with Patty, Lamar, and me at about 1 p.m. yesterday that the White House was OK with it," Schumer said.
Schumer hoped that the bipartisan agreement, which funds the payments for two years in exchange for reforms to Obamacare, will be passed soon.
"The sooner the better because the longer you wait the harder it is for the plans to readjust," he said.
He added that adding the deal to must-pass vehicles like an omnibus spending deal in December are a possibility, but he hoped it could be done sooner.
The cost-sharing payments reimburse Obamacare insurers for lowering out-of-pocket costs for low-income Obamacare customers.