Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been fantasizing about dismantling Medicaid between kegs of shitty beer since he was a teenager and he's not prepared to let go of his fetish just yet.
Speaker Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke to reporters this morning where he said he still intends to "repeal and replace" Obamacare at some point but not anytime soon.
"We're going to get this right. And in the meantime we're going to do all of our other work that we came here to do," Ryan said Tuesday after a long meeting with the Republican conference. [...]
"We promised that we would repeal and replace Obamacare and that's exactly what we're going to do. Friday the timeline wasn't there, the votes were not there yet," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
During the press conference, Ryan said he still believes they should use the budget reconciliation process to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority vote along party lines, but it doesn't appear that Republicans in the Senate have any appetite for that.
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have both seemingly ruled out using reconciliation on any future endeavor.
As for Ryan, one of the primary reasons he won't let go of repealing Obamacare yet is because he needs it. Ryan's entire "Path to Prosperity" or "Better Way" agenda depends on passing massive spending cuts on healthcare and other social assistance programs to finance tax cuts for the rich.
Ryan already knows this and he apparently hasn't broken the bad news to his own caucus yet.
Or maybe he has.
Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows appeared on ABC Sunday where he said tax cuts don't necessarily have to be paid for.
Surprisingly, Meadows said that he personally would be open to reform that cuts taxes for Americans but doesn’t include offsetting cuts in spending or increases in revenue designed to prevent the deficit and debt from rising.
“Does it have to be fully offset? My personal response is no,” Meadows said.
He suggested that feeling may be less rare within the Freedom Caucus than many expect. “I think there’s been a lot of flexibility in terms of some of my contacts and conservatives in terms of not making it totally offset and that’s a move that we’re trying to do to provide real relief and economic growth.”
Meadows probably understands that there's no way to pay for Ryan's tax cut package without big healthcare cuts.
And those cuts are not going to happen, by the way. Trumpcare is dead. Congress will soon pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal 2017 and spend a majority of the Spring and Summer on recess. Before we know it, we'll be looking at the October 1st deadline for funding the federal government in fiscal 2018 and the GOP could be no closer to repealing Obamacare or passing sweeping tax cuts.