President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are involved in a tiff over repealing and replacing Obamacare. McConnell, having failed to get the 50th vote necessary to pass repeal and replace, would like to move on to tax reform. Trump is insisting that McConnell do his job and pass the reform of health care reform. McConnell has been reduced to giving lectures about how the president has “unrealistic” expectations about how the senate works, despite having promised to rid the nation of the scourge of Obamacare for seven years. Now it looks like the president is sending help in the form of the 50th vote.

It starts with the vacancy at Homeland Security

Trump solved a problem with a dysfunctional White House staff by bringing in former General John Kelly from Homeland Security to be his Chief of Staff.

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While Kelly proceeds to crack the whip, Trump finds himself faced with a vacancy in that department. That leads to the next step in the president’s scheme.

Perry to Homeland Security

Trump is said to be mulling over the idea of moving Rick Perry from the #Department of Energy to the Department of Homeland Security. It is not that Perry is doing a bad job at Energy. Far from it. Perry has some experience in border enforcement from his days of being governor of Texas. Trump also needs to free up the post of secretary of energy for the next step of his scheme.

Manchin to the Department of Energy

With a vacancy opened at the Department of Energy, Trump can now offer the post of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-#West Virginia. Manchin is one of the last of the moderate Democrats. Nevertheless, his prospects of being reelected in increasingly red West Virginia are pretty dim.

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So he has every incentive to end his political career as a cabinet secretary rather than a politician who got defeated for reelection. The move will leave a vacant senate seat.

The 53rd Republican senator

As it turns out, the governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, just switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, a move that Trump was pleased to highlight at a campaign-style event recently. Justice can be counted on to appoint a Republican to Manchin’s old seat. Thus, an extra vote to #Repeal and Replace Obamacare will be available.

Can McConnell pull it off?

In theory, McConnell will now have 50 votes to replace and repeal Obamacare along with the tie breaker cast by Vice President Mike Pence. However, that result depends on no other Republican senator getting cold feet and flipping his vote. McConnell had better be on the job this time.