House leaving town with GOP health care bill in shambles

Violet Tucker
April 8, 2017

The Trump administration is pressuring top House Republicans to make last-minute amendments to their latest ObamaCare replacement bill before leaving for a two-week recess, according to a Thursday Bloomberg report.

From the party's right flank, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Sanford of SC said: "I've heard nothing of substance at this point that would break the logjam". We built them a bridge. He said he would have preferred having the House hold hearings featuring industry experts discussing the potential impact of the legislation.

"There were no agreements tonight, and no agreements in principle, and certainly no agreements in terms of a foundation", Meadows said Tuesday.

To tackle the biggest overhaul of the US tax code since the Reagan era quickly, House Republicans need to avoid the political fault lines that sank their healthcare bill, partly by having conservatives on board. And unfortunately for House Republicans, there doesn't seem to be a thing they can do about that.

Although three-quarters of the population wants President Donald Trump and his administration to make the health law work, 54 percent of Republicans said it was "a bad thing" that the House GOP bill failed to pass in March, and 58 percent of Republicans said the bill "did not go far enough to end Obamacare".

The Washington Post's Robert Costa reported that the meeting between White House officials including Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and House leaders including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was tense. It only means they will work to modify the bill in the Rules Committee.

White House officials are also facing swirling political dynamics in the House that they can not necessarily control, despite the relationships some of them have cultivated on Capitol Hill.

I'm sure most of the people involved - from the White House to the House Freedom Caucus to the group of relatively moderate House conservatives to the Speaker and the rest of the Republican leadership - would very much like to find a way to get the legislative job done.

"Tax reform is numerically more hard if health care doesn't pass. Tax reform is procedurally more hard if health care doesn't pass". "We've got time to figure this out".

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Conservative activists Wednesday blamed at least five members of the centrist House Tuesday Group for the impasse.

Two aides familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private meeting said that major disagreements remain between the conservatives and moderates - primarily over the extent to which states should be allowed to roll back Affordable Care Act mandates aimed at keeping insurance available and affordable to people with preexisting medical conditions. "I think that's tough".

Meadows called it "highly inappropriate" for Trump's White House social media director, Dan Scavino, Jr.to publicly urge a GOP primary opponent for Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash of MI.

Republican lawmakers have said efforts are focused on maintaining Obamacare's essential health benefits, such as mental health coverage and maternity care.

A House aide said Pence and other White House officials painted a "dire" political picture of what would happen if Republicans fail to act on health care.

The amendment passed the House Rules Committee, 9-2, early Thursday afternoon.

"We've been giving", Meadows said Tuesday before the meeting. It would create a $100-billion fund that states can use for a variety of purposes, including high-risk insurance pools where people with medical problems can get coverage.

Democrats were dismissive. "It's as if the president and Paul Ryan went to some of the Republicans and the Freedom Caucus and said, 'We can make this worse, '" Rep. Jan Schakowsky of IL said. "The frustration that many members have right now is that deals are being brokered outside of the central committees". "It goes counter to the promises of more than 200 members of the House", said McHenry.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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