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3:34 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody, and Mike Pence is going to be here in a few minutes. We miss Mike when he’s not around. (Laughter.)

So I want to thank the members of the House Deputy Whip team. It will be very important over the next number of months. We have a great team and we’re going to have a lot of victories, a lot of wins, but we have a great team.

Together, we’re going to do incredible things for the great citizens of our country. As I said during my joint address to Congress — and I think you mostly liked that, right? (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: We loved that. (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: We liked it a lot. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: We’re witnessing a renewal of the American spirit, a surge of optimism and a new national pride, which is sweeping across the land. I see it — there’s such spirit, whether it’s for the business things we’re doing or whatever. It’s such spirit that we haven’t seen in the country in a long time. Jobs are pouring back here. You saw what happened with Exxon, where they just announced a massive job program. So we’re going to have some fun.

Now, we have to remember, Obamacare is collapsing and it’s in bad shape. And we’re going to take action. There’s going to be no slowing down. There’s going to be no waiting and no more excuses by anybody. We’re all now — I can probably say I’m a politician. (Laughter.) Okay? I am a politician.

But we’re going to get it done, and you’re the leaders that really will get it done for all of us and for the American people. Obamacare is in very bad shape. I believe that if we wait two years, it will totally implode. It’s really pretty much imploding now, Steve, when you think. But it will implode and people will be, like, please help us, please help us, and that will be the Democrats asking for help. They already are asking for help in the true sense of the word, because it’s a disaster. The insurance companies are fleeing. Some states are up over 100 percent in costs. The deductibles are through the roof — you don’t even get to use it.

So we’re going to do something that’s great, and I’m proud to support the replacement plan, released by the House of Representatives and encouraged by members of both parties. I think really that we’re going to have something that’s going to be much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine. It follows the guidelines I laid out in my congressional address — a plan that will lower costs, expand choices, increase competition, and ensure healthcare access for all Americans.

This will be a plan where you can choose your doctor. This will be a plan where you can choose your plan. (Laughter.) And you know what the plan is — this is the plan. And we’re going to have a tremendous — I think we’re going to have a tremendous success. It’s a complicated process, but actually it’s very simple. It’s called good healthcare.

So I want to thank you folks for being with us today, ladies and gentlemen. And we will do something really, really important and really good for the American people. I think it’s going to go very quickly. I hope it’s going to go very quickly. And as you know, after that, we work on the tax cut. We’re going to be planning a major tax cut. I know exactly what we’re looking at — most of us know exactly the plan. It’s going to put our country in great shape and we’re going to reduce taxes for companies and for people, and I can use the word again — massively. It’s going to be a big tax cut, the biggest since Reagan, maybe bigger than Reagan.

So I look forward — I really look forward to working on that, but we can’t really get to that, unfortunately, because of the way your system works. We can’t get to that until we take care of healthcare. So we’ll take care of the healthcare. I appreciate your great support and let’s get it done.

Thank you. Thank you all. Fantastic. Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE SCALISE: Well, Mr. President, thank you for having our Deputy Whip team to the White House. And thank you for your commitment on following through on what, to most Americans, is probably one of the most important promises that was made not only by you, but by all of us in getting this majority — both in the House and Senate — and the White House, and that is rescuing the American people from the failures of Obamacare.

We’ve heard the message for years. We’ve seen the dramatically skyrocketing costs. You’re seeing double-digit increases every year in most part of the country in health premiums for families. Many families are seeing deductibles that rise about the $10,000 range, which means people don’t have access to healthcare. People don’t have the ability to choose their own doctor.

You talked about this the other night in just one of the best speeches I’ve heard from a President standing at that well in the House Chamber when you addressed the joint session and gave an inspirational speech to the country laying out the things that need to happen and that you’re going to do to get this country back on track, and to create jobs, and to secure America.

But one of the things you talked about is how it’s wrong that unelected bureaucrats in Washington have the ability to tell you what you can and can’t buy for your family in healthcare, one of the most personal decisions families make.

This bill finally starts the process of not only repealing Obamacare, but also replacing it with reforms that put patients back in charge of their healthcare decisions, that lower costs for families. Let them actually choose the decisions between them and their doctor, which are so personal.

And so as we start this process, the people in this room, the chief deputy whips are the ones that are going to be working directly with members to ultimately pass this bill to your desk so that we can quickly provide that relief from Obamacare to the people of the United States.

And I know we are honored to have our former House colleague and now our Vice President of the United States who has been involved in this fight from the beginning, as well, Vice President Mike Pence joining us, too.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, Steve. And again, we’re going to work quickly. It’s a great bill. We’re going to have — I really believe we’re going to have tremendous support. I’m already seeing the support — not only in this room, I’m seeing it from everybody. And I’m seeing it from the public. And they want Obamacare over.

I got elected to a certain extent — I would say a pretty good little chunk — based on the fact repeal and replace Obamacare. And many of you people are in the same boat. Very important. So let’s get it done.

Thank you all very much for being here. Thank you. Okay, thank you.

3:41 P.M. EST