The Freedom Caucus Says Trumpcare Will Fail

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

House Republican leadership can only afford to lose 21 votes tomorrow if every Democrat opposes Trumpcare, which they will, and the Freedom Caucus may have just sealed the deal.

Members of the Batshit Caucus met with the White House this morning, but a caucus spokesperson said at least 25 members will vote No and several influential members also say their meeting at the White House didn't sway anyone.

"Nothing has changed," Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) told reporters after the meeting.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) told reporters that many members of the caucus still weren't ready to get on board after the meeting. [...]

When asked if the Trump administration seemed open to making changes to the bill, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told reporters: "Not really."

I don't want to start break-dancing just yet, but the bill's chances of passing seem shaky. And in any event, the bill is almost certainly dead-on-arrival in the Senate.

The problem for Republicans in both chambers is that amending the bill to please their most conservative members will render the bill unacceptable to other members and, in the case of the Senate, amending the bill to please conservatives would preclude it from the reconciliation process.

Reconciliation cannot be used to make regulatory changes and regulatory changes are what members of the Batshit Caucus and senators like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul want. They want to eliminate coverage requirements and other regulations included in Obamacare, but including those in the bill would mean it could be filibustered.

Speaker Paul Ryan has promised to make regulation changes in his so-called "three-pronged approached" but, as we've covered before, there's no guarantee those changes will ever materialize.

It's entirely possible more than 25 members of the Freedom Caucus will vote against Trumpcare tomorrow, but we won't know for certain until the vote actually takes place. Speaker Ryan reportedly plans to hold a vote on the bill even if they know they don't have enough votes to pass it.

If Trumpcare fails tomorrow, some Republicans will be tempted to kick the can down the road and move on to tax reform. If they do, that could also fail for similar reasons. Trumpcare and the GOP's tax reform agenda both include massive tax cuts for the rich.

If Trumpcare does pass the House tomorrow, it will be a setback, but far from the end of the story.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Trumpcare and the GOP’s tax reform agenda both include massive tax cuts for the rich.

    What Republican agenda item doesn’t?

  • I’ll believe it will fail when I see it. Republicans ALWAYS come together.

    • swift_4

      It’s true that you have to wait and keep pressure on people. But Republicans created a monster in 2009 when they manufactured the “grass roots” Tea Party. And like ninjaf above stated, they locked those wingnuts down tight by gerrymandering the districts. The Republican Party is split between the far-right and the crazy-far-right. So they can’t even agree among themselves.

  • muselet

    If the House Freedumb Caucus manages to kill RepubliCare, even if it’s for the wrong reason, I’ll raise a toast to them.

    I won’t like or respect or trust them any more than I do now, mind you.


  • 1933john

    Sounds like the Ole “Pig in a Poke” routine times three.

    • Aynwrong

      I don’t know the ole “Pig in a Poke” routine is but sounds ridiculous and it involves the word “pig.” So I’ve decided it accurately describes the GOP.

      • swift_4

        Keep pokin’ that pig.

      • 1933john

        The English colloquialisms such as turn out to be a pig in a poke or buy a pig in a poke mean that something is sold or bought without the buyer knowing its true nature or value, especially when buying without inspecting the item beforehand. The phrase can also be applied to accepting an idea or plan without a full understanding of its basis. Similar expressions exist in other European languages, most of them referring to the purchase of a cat in a bag. To “let the cat out of the bag” may be a related idiom.

        • Aynwrong


  • ninjaf

    Score one for gerrymandering! Congresspeople only have to appeal to their districts, and since they are picking their own constituents, don’t have to worry about statewide approval like Senators do. They gerrymandered themselves right into a corner.

    Also, I thought I had read somewhere that tax reform was predicated on the repeal of Obamacare in the GOP plan of trying to get around Democratic opposition in the Senate?