By Peter Sullivan - 06-30-17 07:00 AM EDT
President Trump on Friday said Republicans should just repeal ObamaCare and replace it later if they are unable to agree on healthcare legislation.
In doing so, he appeared to offer support for an idea that conservative lawmakers, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have floated in recent days.
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
The call for action comes days after GOP Senate leadership postponed a procedural vote on their healthcare overhaul in the face of sinking support.
The conservatives say their repeal now and replace later plan is a way to make sure the GOP keeps its promise to repeal the law before worrying about the harder task of replacement. It's likely a nonstarter with moderate Republicans, however, who fear it would leave too many without coverage.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Friday sent a letter to the president calling for the same strategy of passing repeal first and replacement later, if Republicans cannot reach a deal by July 10.
Paul has also proposed the idea of passing repeal first and then separately working on replacement, and praised Trump's suggestion.
I have spoken to @realDonaldTrump & Senate leadership about this and agree. Let's keep our word to repeal then work on replacing right away.- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 30, 2017
Paul and Sasse are frustrated that Senate Republicans are struggling to move forward with healthcare reform legislation at the moment.
But more moderate senators already rejected this strategy early this year, saying that the public needs to know what the replacement is at the same time repeal passes.
Updated at 9:32 a.m. Tristan Lejeune contributed.