I willing to bet some of them are going to live to regret scuttling the Obamacare replacement, as imperfect as it was.
Republican leaders and rank-and-file members have been grappling with how to handle the House Freedom Caucus since most of them came to Washington in 2010’s Tea Party wave. Now that they have defied President Trump, they’re hoping he can finally make them fall into line, the Washington Examiner reported.
“When he tweets things like he did … it gives me cover to echo that,” Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., told the Washington Examiner about Trump’s jabs at the House Freedom Caucus via Twitter.
“The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” Trump tweeted Monday night, three days after enough of its members refused to back the healthcare bill crafted by Trump and House GOP leaders that they had to pull it from the floor. “After so many bad years they were ready for a win!”
As Washington oddsmakers are calculating the lines on the Freedom Caucus’ fate, many on Capitol Hill are placing their bets that more will follow the lead of Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, and leave the group.
Why not come back at it? Maybe the Freedom Caucus is getting some private polling showing people are angry.
House Republicans on Tuesday discussed making a second attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare in a closed-door meeting that was an attempt to “heal the divisions” caused when party infighting prevented legislation from passing last week, the Washington Examiner reported.
“We are talking about how to get Obamacare repealed and replaced,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., said as he left the meeting.
The message from Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was that despite last week’s failed attempt, the GOP could not walk away from the effort to repeal the collapsing law, and replacing it with Republican reforms. Lawmakers who attended the meeting said the group held “a good healthy discussion” about internal differences that sunk the bill last week.
“There was a unified message that we need to find a solution because a lot of Americans will be hurt unless we repeal the law,” Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga. said. “There is good, honest discussion going on. Good dialogue.”
Republican leaders didn’t discuss the specifics of a “Plan B,” but Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., a member of the House Freedom Caucus, announced his plan to use a legislative tactic that could force a floor vote on simply repealing Obamacare. The move would require 218 signatures on a discharge petition, and it’s not clear if enough Republicans would sign on to it.