Trump’s Push To Tie Health Care Mandate To Tax Reform Hits Swift Resistance

(CNN) Law makers on Capitol Hill had mixed reviews for a new proposal pushed by Pres. Donald Trump that would raise money for tax reform but potentially complicate the already thorny issue.

Trump continues to take the lead on repealing the Obamacare mandate in spite of ongoing Congressional gridlock. 

The President tweeted support for an idea pitched by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, suggesting Republicans repeal the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act to help pay for tax cuts.

PREVIOUSLY: Trump Seeks To End Obamacare Penalty Via Tax Rewrite

“Wouldn’t it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts for the Middle Class. The House and Senate should consider ASAP as the process of final approval moves along. Push Biggest Tax Cuts EVER,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.

But just hours after Trump took to Twitter, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders backed away from the tweets, saying the Trump administration wants to deal with health care separately next year.

“In terms of the mandate, we are focused on pushing through tax cuts and tax reforms separately,” Sanders said in the daily White House briefing.

“Obviously we have never made it a secret that we would like to repeal and replace Obamacare, we’d still like to do that, but we think it is probably more likely to do something like that in the spring.”

Trump’s tweets Wednesday morning came just minutes after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, was on Fox News advocating repeal of the mandate.

“Repealing the individual mandate is something in the Senate that is gaining some momentum and I think there (are) a lot of people saying, you know what, we could fulfill two pledges here, cut taxes and get rid of part of Obamacare,” he said.

“I think tax reform is complicated enough without adding another layer of complexity,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate Majority Whip.

READ THE FULL STORY AT CNN. Also of interest: Trump: Drug Makers ‘Getting Away With Murder’