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White House hopes new health care reform deal will satisfy House GOP factions

April 21, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
The White House announced that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will resume this weekend, ahead of Congress' return to Washington. John Yang joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the “glimmer of optimism” surrounding new reform language, some confusion about the timetable for getting it passed, as well as the threat of a government shutdown.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: As we reported earlier, the White House announced today that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will continue this weekend, ahead of Congress’ return to Washington.

Joining me to talk about the latest developments is White House correspondent John Yang.

So, John, Congress coming back next week. Before they left, there was talk of trying to resurrect some sort of deal on health care reform. Where does it stand?

JOHN YANG: Well, Judy, talking to senior White House officials today, there is a glimmer, a glimmer of optimism that their efforts to bring together the conservative and moderate factions of the House Republicans has led to language that just may satisfy both sides.

They hope to present that language to lawmakers on a conference call, a House Republican conference call tomorrow to get a better sense of where things stand.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John, there seems to be a little bit of a — if not a misunderstanding, at least a back and forth on the timetable here. On the one hand, they seem to be in a hurry to get it done. On the other hand, we just heard the president saying, well, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s next week.

JOHN YANG: Well, that’s right.

You heard the president said that. And Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary said, if we get it done next week, great. If we don’t, no problem. We will get it done when we have the votes.

But there are others, other officials in this White House who would love it if they could get a vote before that symbolic 100 days of the administration are up.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John, one other thing that is on the agenda next week is funding for the government. The temporary arrangement they had runs out at the end of the week. Where do they stand on that?

JOHN YANG: Well, this afternoon, OMB Director Mitt Mulvaney had a conference call directing department heads to prepare for a possible government showdown, but he and other White House officials say they are confident it will not happen, that the government funding will continue one way or another.

But they also — a senior administration official also says that these talks could tell us a lot about the next four years and the willingness of both sides to compromise — Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF: All right. Well, we will be watching. John Yang at the White House, thank you.

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