House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is thrilled with the unity Democrats showed in opposing President Trump’s healthcare repeal, however, she’s still open to negotiate.
“We’re willing to listen,” Pelosi said during an interview with NBC News on Monday.
Given that Republicans were unable to corral a majority from within their own caucus, it’s possible Trump might now seek help from the Democrats. But if the president does wish to engage in bipartisan efforts, Pelosi noted it will have to be on Democrats’ terms.
“We always want to work with the president, but my message to the president is, ‘First do no harm,’” she said.
Even though the Affordable Care Act is one of Pelosi’s signature achievements in Congress, she believes it could use some “updates.”
But Pelosi is firmly against any idea of scrapping the whole program. She believes Obamacare needs change, but that improving the program is all about timing.
“That’s one place we can work together and that would signal his good faith and willingness to work together,” Pelosi said of Trump.
However, Pelosi warned that Trump’s use of regulatory action could bring about a a “self-fulling prophecy” of collapse — something the president has repeatedly predicted would happen to Obamacare.
Despite Trump having a 44-seat House majority with his own party, Democrats are seeing an opportunity to reinvigorate their base.
“Ironically, the president who ran as the great deal-maker couldn’t even make a deal with the people on his own team. It’s our leader who continues to unify us,” Rep. Eric Swalwell of California told Politico.
“Republicans should take a lesson from that,” he added.
Since Trump has come into office, Democrats have shown the necessary willingness to obstruct his agenda. Pelosi’s strategy stressed outside mobilization, since she knew that Congress would be a losing battle. So far, she’s pleased with the results.
“Success breeds success,” Pelosi said. “I’m proud of our caucus. I’m proud of the coordination we had with the outside. I’m proud we could convey to the grassroots, we don’t consider yourself the drumbeat they echo, we consider ourselves the echo of their drum beat.”