Washington: Two top Senators have urged the Trump administration to push for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to India to build its capability to counter security threats and balance China's growing military power in the Pacific.
Senators Mark Warner from Virginia and John Cornyn from Texa in a joint letter to US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, the Trump administration must make the fighter jet acquisition a priority during initial bilateral discussions with India.
India has launched an effort to expand its combat aircraft fleet and the competition has reportedly narrowed down to Lockheed's F-16 and Saab's Gripen. Noting that the last F-16 for the US Air Force rolled off the production line in Fort Worth in 1999, the two Senators said India remains the only major F-16 prospect customer.
"A primary factor in India's decision will be compliance with Prime Minister Modi's 'Make in India' initiative, which will announced that he was withdrawing the move to have a vote on Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Unlike India, the US Congress does not have an anti-defection bill, as a result of which US lawmakers are free to exercise their right to vote on a bill as per their wish and not according to dictate of the party leadership.
Blaming the opposition democrats for the failure, Trump warned that now Obamacare is going to stay, people would see a sudden rise in their insurance premium. "It's going to happen (explode). There's not much you can do about it. Bad things are going to happen. There's not much you can do to help it. I've been saying that for a year and a half. It's not sustainable. There's no way out," Trump told reporters at the White House after the bill was withdrawn.
"As we got closer and closer everyone was talking about how wonderful (Obamacare) was. Now it will go back to real life, people will see how bad it is and it's getting much worse. When President Obama left, 2017 was going to be a very bad year for Obamacare," Trump said. "Going to see explosive premium increases and the deductibles are so high that no one is going to be able to use it," he said. Having fought and won the presidential elections on the platform of repealing and replacing Obamacare, Trump said he honestly believe that the Democrats will come to the Republicans and say "let's get together and get a great health care bill or plan that's really great" for the people in this country.
"I think that's going to happen," he said. Trump said he was very close to getting enough votes in the House, but fell short of 10-15 votes. "We were very very close. It was a very tight margin. We had no Democratic support," the President said. "I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we could do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It's exploding right now," he said. "We couldn't quite get there, we were a small number of votes short. There are many people who don't realise how good our bill was," he said adding that the people don't realise there were two legislative phases to go.
"If (Democrats) got together with us, and got us a real health care bill, I'd be totally okay with that. The losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because they own Obamacare. They 100 per cent own it. They have Obamacare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future," Trump said.