President Donald Trump trained his fire on members of his own party Thursday, declaring in the aftermath of the Republican's failed health care push that the conservative Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire GOP agenda.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he is willing to work with Democrats if they are "willing to do what we told the voters we'd do" on healthcare.
In his tweet, the president pledged to "fight" members of the caucus with primary challengers in 2018.
The President was more or less picking a fight with the conservative group of lawmakers. "This was more of a listening session, shall we say, than a progress session", reported Greg Walden of OR, one of the authors of the failed bill. Still smarting from last week's failure of his healthcare bill, Trump is blaming the Freedom Caucus for not supporting him. Pence and Price, like Scalise, are former chairs of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and Mulvaney was actually a founding member of the even-more-purist Freedom Caucus. Since the shift to a single payer healthcare system under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government has been in charge of Americans' health care.
Still unable to coerce the far-right wing of the GOP and now facing rebellion from a few moderate members, Trump and Ryan made a decision to pull the bill rather than feel the even greater sting of a floor vote defeat. Or else: "I'm gonna come after you", Trump told North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, one of his fiercest foes in the Freedom Caucus opposition.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other establishment Republicans led the (unsuccessful) charge to try and get the the bill - which performed disastrously in public opinion polls - passed through Congress.
"I guess I'm just not sure what the expectation was", said Katrina Pierson, spokeswoman for America First Policies.
"I think what happened needed to happen", he added.
Moreover, this defeat suggests that, given the ideological divide in the GOP, and the unanimous opposition of congressional Democrats, the most impressive GOP majorities since the 1920s may be impotent to enact any major complicated or complex legislation. Republican lawmakers still await key details on what Trump's priorities are in the monumental tax reform effort they want to launch. According to NPR's analysis, they won their primaries by an average of 77 points a year ago, and about half of them didn't even have a primary challenger. Trump tweeted early on Sunday. Moderate Republicans are aghast at proposals to cut popular programs that fund environmental cleanup and meals for senior citizens.More news: White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material
Around the country, Hillary Clinton won 23 swing districts which are now represented by House Republicans.
Nearly daily, stories seep out of the administration about feuding between top officials and rival centers of power around Trump, including the camp led by political advisor Stephen Bannon and the family inner circle comprising his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump, who announced Wednesday she would take an unpaid staff position.
The truth is, many Republicans never seriously thought Obamacare could be repealed and replaced, probably for the good reason that it's almost impossible to do.
Some Republicans seemed emboldened by the White House's prodding: Grand Rapids businessman Brian Ellis challenged Amash to a primary in 2014 and said Thursday he may do so him again. It wasn't OIK when Democrats did it, and it shouldn't be OK for Republicans either. "If they get smarter they can turn it around".
The White House has granted the military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, the Pentagon says, the latest sign Trump is increasing US military engagement in the region.
So did his preferred strategy, detailed in an inside account published by Politico, that relied on Trump's personal lobbying be enough to secure enough GOP votes. I hope the Republicans can get past their hatred of a man who is no longer president, a man who had the audacity to believe that health care should be a right, not a privilege.
"Ryan.is never going to intentionally alienate a large swath of his caucus", said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is criticizing the House speaker for saying the president shouldn't work with Democrats on health care.