Testing grounds: Republicans act on healthcare

Testing grounds: Republicans act on healthcare

At the ripe age of 70, Donald Trump is about to embark on his first ever legislative experience: passing the

Photo: AP/Susan Walsh

Photo: AP/Susan Walsh

At the ripe age of 70, Donald Trump is about to embark on his first ever legislative experience: passing the American Health Care Act. As president, Mr Trump can’t actually vote on legislation – that’s up to Congress, which is expected to debate and possibly vote on the Obamacare replacement on Thursday.

The president made a rare visit to the US Capitol earlier this week to implore Republican lawmakers to pass his “great” bill or face “political problems”. Divisions among Republicans have surfaced in recent weeks, with ultra-conservatives insisting the new law doesn’t go far enough while moderates worry that millions of Americans may lose coverage.

Investors will be watching Thursday’s developments with bated breath. Wall Street had its worst day since the November election on Tuesday, spooked by President Trump’s combative Congressional speech. Indeed, many see the upcoming vote as a test of whether the White House and Republican legislators can work together to deliver real legislative reform, which could ultimately include tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure projects.

With Democrats united against the health care bill and divisions in the Republican camp, Mr Trump will have a battle on his hands come Thursday.