The right-leaning Wall Street Journal editorial board warned congressional Republicans that if they fail a second time on passing new healthcare legislation, President Trump may abandon the GOP to work with Democratic leadership on the rest of his agenda.
In an editorial published Wednesday night, the Journal said the GOP should line up behind the bill and prove that the party can govern.
"One reason the health bill was raised from the dead has been the President's backstage leadership and his personal, member-by-member appeals," the paper said. "But Mr. Trump wants above all to be a "winner" and he's likely to align himself with whatever majority he can find. If Speaker Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in the Senate can't deliver, this least ideological of presidents may turn in 2018 or sooner to Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Schumer to make deals—on roads, bridges and airports, or trade tariffs, or who knows what else. You can bet the results won't please conservatives."
After seven years of campaigning against so-called Obamacare, Republicans, now in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, failed to pass one bill that would overhaul much of President Obama's signature achievement.
The House, however, is scheduled to vote Thursday on the GOP's latest bill, a delicate move for the party.
If it fails, Trump's influence will further diminish on the Hill, leaving the rest of his agenda on tax reform and infrastructure spending in jeopardy.