Rep. Poe Resigns From House Freedom Caucus Over Health Care Stance

Mar 29, 2017, 02:04

While Ryan can afford to lose about 20 Republicans without Democratic support, the Freedom Caucus's roughly three-dozen members tend to stick together.

On Sunday, Trump turned his criticism toward conservative lawmakers for the failure of the Republican bill, complaining on Twitter: "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!"

Trump initially focused blame for the measure's failure on Democrats and predicted a dire future for the current law.

But on Sunday, his aides made clear that Trump would be seeking support from moderate Democrats, leaving open the possibility he could still revisit health care legislation.

The former SC governor, who had been mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, was alluding in the meeting to an extramarital affair that led to his resignation as chairman of the Republican Governor's Association in 2009 and his divorce a year later. "Because I can tell you, conversations over the last 48 hours are really about how we come together in the Republican Conference and get this over the finish line".

Obamacare, a law created to increase the quality of health insurance and make it accessible to citizens with low incomes, has provided medical coverage to more than 20 million people who did not have it before.

The bill would have erased much of President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized Trump over his handling of the health care bill and said Republicans would face roadblocks from conservatives on other issues.

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Mr. Scott tweeted, "Mark Meadows betrayed Trump and America and supported Pelosi and Dems to protect Obamacare". But it was more moderate House members and senators who cringed over the reality of what repeal would cost their constituents, both under the original proposal and under the even more austere Freedom Caucus-negotiated version, which removed guaranteed coverage for key benefits but still didn't go far enough to win members' votes.

Their comments came after another day of finger-pointing among Republicans, both subtle and otherwise. On Saturday, Trump urged Americans in a tweet to watch Judge Jeanine Pirro's program on Fox that night.

"Trump hadn't failed in politics until Reince and Ryan got involved", the GOP source said. He worked very, very hard, I will tell you that. The White House likely won't be keen to let Paul Ryan's House steer the effort after Ryan's dismal legislative debut. Trump tweeted Sunday morning. Being too helpful to the White House at this stage could hurt their chances.

"Having tasted victory, the resistance forces will feel even more empowered to insist that Democrats continue withholding any cooperation and not granting Trump any victories when he is so wounded", said Fallon.

Priebus said Trump was not backing off his view that the tax reform bill needed a border tax.

Meadows, the Freedom Caucus chairman who led the charge that scuttled Ryan's Obamacare replacement bill, said Sunday he doesn't believe tax cuts need to be revenue neutral, which is necessary to avoid the 60-vote threshold in the Senate, where Republicans have 52 votes. "I can tell you as I've looked at all of this, I said, could I have spent a little bit more time, should I have spent more time with the Tuesday Group, more time with Democrats to find some consensus".

Spicer on Monday reiterated that Trump had learned "a lot in this process about loyalty" but brushed off questions of whether the president had written off working with conservatives. That's a shift for a fiscal conservative concerned about deficits.

"By summer, tax reform finally may be moving with a bill making it to the House floor, but don't expect much action anytime soon (the Ways and Means Committee will convene a meeting tomorrow but the panel's bill isn't ready)", Valliere said.

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