The day Donald Trump won the presidency, he said, the Republicans were going to be in the minority.
Now, they are in the majority.
The first major test for Republicans will come Wednesday when Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for a rare joint session.
The meeting is being billed as a chance for Republicans to reaffirm their support for Trump’s legislative agenda and show they’re ready to take over the government in a Trumpian fashion.
But if McConnell doesn’t win his support for the repeal and replace bill, the two GOP leaders may find themselves facing a very big moment.
Trump has already signaled he will sign the repeal bill into law and he’s eager to begin working on his agenda.
But the Republican-led Congress is far from unified on the legislation and it may take weeks or months for the House to pass the measure.
That could leave Republicans with a difficult decision: Can they give up on Trump’s promises to repeal Obamacare, or risk alienating their base and their base’s Republican senators?
McConnell, meanwhile, is trying to keep the GOP united.
He’s working with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R, Texas, and they’ve already met twice.
On Wednesday, McConnell said that he’s ready to work with Democrats, the White House and the public to get the measure passed.
“We’re going to get it done,” McConnell said.
“There are people out there who will not vote to do what we want to do.
We’re not going to let them get away with it.”
Republicans say they’re willing to compromise and offer more of what they want to replace Obamacare.
But Trump is not going along.
He has vowed to repeal and then replace the Affordable Care Act and the House GOP has repeatedly expressed concerns about how that might happen.
And Republicans fear they’ll be unable to get enough votes to get to the 50-vote threshold needed to pass legislation.
But there’s hope.
House Speaker Ryan, who has repeatedly said the House will pass the repeal-and-replace bill, said Tuesday that he hopes to see a “significant and immediate step forward” on health care in the next few weeks.
That would allow Republicans to move ahead with a more conservative agenda.
But they’ll have to do so without Trump.
He won’t be there.
He’ll be in a state of shock and mourning.
For the Republican Party, the president’s death has already made a mark.
McConnell said the party’s leaders are “not going to pretend” that they’ll go along with the president, but they’ll “work together” to get him done.
“This is an enormous moment,” McConnell told reporters on Wednesday.
“What is it that we’re not willing to give up?” he added.