Six weeks into Trump's administration,
As congressional leaders move forward with efforts to undo former President
Swing state senators worry that their sickest and poorest constituents could lose access to health care. Republican governors fear that millions of people now covered by
"We've said all along, 'Work with the governors,'" said Gov.
Republican leaders hoped unified control of
Instead, the celebratory weeks that followed Trump's victory seem to have been little more than a temporary cease-fire in a yearslong
"There are people who haven't adjusted to the fact that we have a Republican president," said
The health care battle is probably the first of many intraparty clashes to come. Already, plans to overhaul tax laws have
In a Wednesday meeting with the leaders of conservative groups, Trump positioned himself as the good cop in the conflict, taking what one participant described as a series of veiled shots at Ryan. The president argued that his team was at least meeting with conservative activists, according to the participant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.
Trump also reminded the activists of his strong support among the conservative base and said he planned to campaign in states he won, in an effort to pressure their unsupportive lawmakers.
"I want to be as helpful to the Trump administration as I can. I'm very supportive of the president. I support him, I want to help him. But respect has to go up and down the street, it's got to go both ways," said Rep.
At least one conservative group is already running digital ads against the
"This is not something that is easy for us to say, 'OK, we'll take half a loaf,'" said
Republican leaders attribute some of the discord to inexperience. Just one-quarter of
During the Obama years, conservative lawmakers ousted incumbent
"When you have a president of another party you can freelance all you want to but now we have an actual chance to change the country," said McConnell, R-
Shifting public opinion has also complicated the calculus for
Since Trump's election, polls show the law gaining in popularity. Over the congressional recess last month,
But if millions lose access to health coverage as a result of the
"Governing is tough," says