Budget director Mick Mulvaney on fate of GOP health care bill: 'I have a lot of confidence in the president'

A House vote is expected today.

ByABC News
March 24, 2017, 7:33 AM

— -- After a last-ditch appeal to House Republicans, Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, said this morning that he's not sure if there will be enough votes in the House to pass the GOP health care bill.

"That's up to the House to count their own votes," Mulvaney said in an interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America."

"Republicans all want the same thing," he added. "They want to get rid of Obamacare and give people the control and the options that they want, the quality that they need and the affordability they deserve. This is the chance today to deliver all of those things in the House."

Despite heavy criticism from a group of moderate and conservative Republicans, both the White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan are pushing hard for the American Health Care Act. Ryan said Thursday night that the bill will be voted on today.

The White House said it is "confident" the bill will pass. "We feel this should be done in the light of day, not in the wee hours of the night and we are confident the bill will pass in the morning," according to White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Mulvaney, a former member of the rabble-rousing House Freedom Caucus, told House Republicans during a meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday night that President Trump felt the time had come for a vote, sources told ABC News.

"The president wants to get rid of Obamacare," Mulvaney said on "GMA." "Say what you want to about Donald Trump -- this is not an ordinary politician. He wants to do this and he wants to do it now."

He went on, "That's the message I delivered on his behalf last night and I hope the House Republicans were listening. I think they were."

Trump had made his final sales pitch to conservative House Freedom Caucus members at the White House earlier Thursday. But after the meeting, caucus members said they hadn't reached a point where they could back the American Health Care Act in its current form.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its score on the amended health bill, saying it would reduce the deficit by less than the original and leave just as many more people uninsured after a decade -- 24 million.

While acknowledging the White House might not get the votes it needs to pass the health bill, Trump's budget director said he's confident in the president's ability to seal the deal.

"I have a lot of confidence in the president," Mulvaney said. "The president is a tremendous sales person, a tremendous closer. I wouldn't count him out."

ABC News' Mary Bruce, Devin Dwyer, John Parkinson, MaryAlice Parks, Arlette Saenz and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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