President Donald Trump reportedly told West Virginia Sen. Shelley
Moore Capito that she could join him on Air Force One when he
addressed boy scouts in her state only if she voted in favor of
Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill, The New York Times
reported on Tuesday.
Capito turned down the offer and said she wouldn’t commit to
voting for a bill whose text she hadn’t yet seen, Republicans
familiar with the conversation told The Times.
Trump’s offer to Capito came as Republican senators were pulling
out all the stops to salvage their healthcare overhaul effort in
the Senate. At the time, Capito was one of several Republican
senators who expressed doubts about the bill. After a series of
earlier votes on different versions of the plan failed,
Republican senators put together a last-ditch “skinny repeal”
The vote on the “skinny repeal” ultimately failed —
49 voted in favor, including Capito, and 51 voted against it,
with Arizona Sen. John McCain casting the decisive vote. The
bill’s failure came four days after Trump made the offer to
Capito and gave a bizarre, freewheeling speech to a group of Boy
Scouts in Capito’s home state of West Virginia.
Trump’s speech drew criticism for its increasingly
political tilt, as the president took shots at the media,
former President Barack Obama, and his 2016 general-election
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