Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he was "poking the bear" with a tweet he posted after a meeting on the Republican healthcare bill with President Donald Trump to get Senate leaders to be more inclusive in the process.
"It is meant as a parlay," the Kentucky GOP member told Erin Burnett on CNN. "It is meant as an invitation to negotiation.
"We have been saying for four or five days now that we are a 'no,' but we could be a 'yes' if the bill becomes better.
"We haven't gotten any conversation from Senate leadership, so we're maybe poking the bear a bit here in order to try to get a little conversation started," Paul said.
After a White House meeting with Trump and other Republicans, Paul said this on Twitter:
President Donald Trump summoned senators to the White House after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky postponed a planned vote this week on the chamber's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Paul is among nine senators who oppose the draft that McConnell released last week after crafting it in secret with participants in a 13-member working group.
Three of the GOP senators disclosed their opposition to the plan after McConnell's announcement.
Paul, an ophthalmologist who is in his second term, told Burnett that Trump "appeared to me to be open to trying to make the bill better.
"He understands he's got people coming from all different directions within the Republican Caucus and it's going to take some work."
He said that senators opposing the legislation have submitted their written concerns to party leaders and the White House.
"We're also sending them to the Senate Republican leadership to show them we have some very specific ideas," Paul said. "If they're willing to work with us, we'll see where it goes."
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