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WH in-town pool report #2
Matthew Nussbaum • POLITICO
March 7, 2017: 04:02 PM


President Trump entered the East Room to meet with the Republican House whip team to discuss the healthcare bill at 3:34. He was greeted by a long round of applause from the assembled members.

Trump sat at the middle of the table between Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas). The list of attending members of congress, as provided by the White House, is below.

The first cadre of members of Congress entered around 3:27. Stephen Miller spoke briefly with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) who told him, "Nice work on the executive order."

Aides Kellyanne Conway, Andrew Bremberg and Stephen Miller were seated at one end of the table. A seat assigned to Steve Bannon sat toward the middle between Reps. Tom Graves and Bill Shuster but Bannon was not present. Across from Bannon's seat was White House legislative affairs staffer Joyce Meyer, who sat between Reps. Elise Stefanik and Mike Conway. Reince Priebus and Gary Cohn were also in attendance.

Four bowls of green apples lined the table.

"We're going to do incredible things for the great citizens of our country," Trump told the group. "As I said during my joint address to Congress — and I think most of you liked that, right? — we're witnessing a renewal of the American spirit, a surge of optimism and a new national pride which is sweeping across the land. I see it."

Trump pointed to ExxonMobil's recent announcement, which he tweeted about Monday, as a sign of this renewal.

Trump quickly pivoted to the topic at hand, health care reform.

"Obamacare is collapsing," Trump said in his opening remarks. "It's in bad shape, and we're going to take action. There's going to be no slowing down, there's going to be no waiting and no more excuses by anybody."

Trump said the assembled group were the leaders to get it done.

"We're going to do something that's great. And I am proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives," Trump said. "It follows the guidelines I laid out in my congressional address. ... This will be a plan where you can choose your doctor and this will be a plan where you can choose your plan. And you know what the plan is. This is the plan."

"It's a complicated process but actually it's very simple, it's called good health care," Trump added.

Trump noted that after addressing health care they could move on to addressing taxes with a "big tax cut."

"I really look forward to working on that," Trump said, but noted that "unfortunately" they cannot move on to taxes "until we take care of health care."

"Let's get it done," Trump closed.

Rep. Steve Scalise spoke next. He thanked Trump for hosting the Whip team. Scalise praised Trump for his joint address, calling it "inspirational," and praised Trump's comments on health care.

"This bill finally starts the process" of repeal and replace, Scalise said.

Pence arrived around 3:40, taking a seat across the table from Trump.

After Scalise spoke, Trump gave a few more brief remarks, reiterating that they would work "quickly" to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The pool was then escorted out around 3:42.

Here is the list of attending members as provided by the White House. Please note that Rep. Tom Emmer's seat at the table was empty, though I cannot say for sure whether or not he was in attendance.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) Chairman of House Ethics Committee

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-TX) Chief Deputy Whip

Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN)

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK)

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY)

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL)

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) Majority Whip

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)

Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)



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