Members of the so-called Tuesday Group of moderate House Republicans are reportedly very angry at co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and, if this account is accurate, they should be angry. I'm pissed off and I'm not even one of them.
Members of the group say MacArthur went behind their backs and negotiated with the Freedumb Caucus to move Trumpcare forward.
During a recent closed-door meeting, Tuesday Group lawmakers warned MacArthur not to negotiate with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) amid an impasse over the health bill; they were worried moderates would be blamed if a deal brought conservative holdouts on board the bill.
But MacArthur pressed forward anyway and cut a deal with Meadows, although he said he was only negotiating for himself and not the larger Tuesday Group.
What members of the group feared is exactly what has happened. Pressure has now been placed on moderates as each faction of the GOP squabbles over who is most at fault for their dysfunction.
But there's more at stake here than that, and that's why it pisses me off.
Moderate Republicans didn't want him to cut any deals with the Freedumb Caucus because Trumpcare is terrible. They don't want Trumpcare to survive. They want it to die so they don't have to touch it. It's bad policy and bad politics. And MacArthur, in his wisdom, cut a deal that makes Trumpcare even worse by eliminating guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions.
In the grand scheme of things, Trumpcare is likely to die in the Senate even if it passes out of the House, and Democrats will have an opportunity to relentlessly hit House Republicans who voted for it, but I'd rather not see it even go that far. That's too close for comfort for me.
One thing is for certain, Rep. Tom MacArthur is a selfish asshole who has placed his personal ambition ahead of the health of millions and the whole economy.