As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell works overtime to cobble together 50 Senate votes for the Obamacare repeal plan, republicans are privately terrified that president Trump may fundamentally misunderstand McConnell's plan to pass it.
"The thinking is that Mitch will use the excess money in the plan--billions of dollars--to give short-term aid to states with an Opioid Addiction problem. Then, long term, we have the tax-cuts for the rich but no one will care 10 years out. It's a winning strategy," said a source who may or may not be Senator Mike Lee.
"But then Trump goes and promises this 'Big Surprise' and I've gotta tell you, people are wetting their pants."
According to sources inside the White House who are definitely not Rince Priebus, banners promising "Affordable Opiods For All" have been printed are are in danger of being hung in the Rose Garden for a 'surprise ceremony.'
"It appears," our source told us, "that Mr. Trump believes that what the states want is money to help addicts better afford their pills. He has concluded that he can issue an Executive Order telling law enforcement to stand down arrests of opioid dealers and pill-mill pain-clinics and provide state-funding to help addicts get their fix."
"He believes this will bring in the 15 or so moderate senate votes. We've tried to tell him that's not the issue--but no one can get through to him. He thinks he understands it and BANG--off he goes. He said McConnell is stupid and he keeps having a nearly uncontrollable urge to punch Senator Cruz in the face."
Republicans described Trump's potential misunderstanding as completely disastrous. "We are trying to reduce opioid addiction, not make it more affordable," said a source who described himself as NOT Senator Ben Sasse. "Although having seen clips of some of the president's rallies, I think I could see why he believes such a position might be popular with his base."
House Speaker Paul Ryan noted that if opioid addiction were encouraged among welfare users and made far more easily affordable, the block-grants he wants to move to in terms of state funding could go much further once the "addiction had run its course."
"They're mainly Takers, anyway," said Paul Ryan. "If we have a few fewer looters in America? I say that's making us greater again right there."