House Republicans appeared to reach some sort of compromise on the much anticipated replacement for Obamacare, one that now puts moderates in the hot seat.
After weeks of closed-door negotiations, leadership, along with conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, came out with compromise amendment for the American Health Care Act, which failed to garner enough votes to pass last month.
CR Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz has more about the details of the amendment here. Basically, the new amendment is far from perfect, but it’s a far sight better for everyday Americans that leadership’s original bill, even if it’s merely kicking the can of collapse much further down the road. But you can’t ask for much better when so many members of your caucus are so apprehensive of doing the thing they said they would on the campaign trail for four straight election cycles. Such is politics.
But now the question shifts to how the center will be treated by leadership and the media versus how members of the freedom caucus were when the vote first failed.
The fallout from the healthcare failure last month — which more liberal Republicans than conservatives were opposed to the first iteration — included widespread attacks from even the president as all guns seemed focused on the 30-member Freedom Caucus. Multiple reports — even ones published at supposedly conservative outlets — painted the group with the same old accusations of being extremists and obstructionists who just have a penchant for perfection.
For example, try to remember exactly how many times the platitude that conservatives were ‘making the perfect the enemy of the good,’ was echoed by right-wing media pundits.
Then there were these tweets:
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After so many bad years they were ready for a win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017
The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2017
But now the focus is on liberal Republicans. Several reports, released hours after the new compromise was announced, noted how some ‘moderates’ are starting to balk at the amendment.
One Tuesday Group member told POLITICO that several in the caucus are “pretty hot right now” about the measure, alleging that co-chair Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., — who helped author the deal — “is kind of on his own” in supporting it. Meanwhile, co-chair Charlie Dent, R-Penn., has spoken out against the amendment and publicly denied his support along with Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., Ileana Ros-Lehinten, R-Fla., and Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., The Atlantic reports.
And others are still coming forward.
— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) April 26, 2017
Meanwhile, others in the mushy middle are still refusing to say whether they’ll support the measure or not.
The split within the Republican caucus is pretty simple to understand. There are those who want to follow through on the unifying message of repealing Obamacare and those who don’t. The doers in the equation stopped a measure that would have been disastrous for the GOP and helped guide the final product to something that — while it doesn’t repeal the 2009 law — is much closer to that goal. Now the question is how leadership will deal with its new crowd of obstructionists.