Speaker shares Trump criticism of Freedom Caucus

Posted April 02, 2017

The president blames the House Freedom Caucus for the failure of the health care bill.

After threatening backlash for members of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus in the morning, he prodded specific members of the group to get behind his agenda more than eight hours later.

As Trump fought with House Republicans and House Republicans fought with each other, Senate Republicans expressed alarm and urged efforts at consensus.

That would include Amash, a Republican from Cascade Township, who was clear in his refusal to back House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan to replace the 2010 Democratic-led health care reform law throughout recent weeks, saying its system of continuing subsidies and insurance requirements effectively made it "Obamacare 2.0".

PAUL RYAN: If we don't do this, then he'll just go work with Democrats to try and change Obamacare, and that's not going to - that's hardly a conservative thing.

"The Freedom Caucus is trying to keep our promises", Biggs said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

"They've certainly drawn the ire of the president, but that doesn't mean they've been rendered powerless".

Speaking to a group of reporters just off the House floor this week, Brat said, "Up here in the bubble, you're all like, 'Uhhh, there's a deal, there's tremendous pressure on you". Kyle Kondik, managing editor of politics newsletter Sabato's Crystal Ball, noted that President Franklin Roosevelt tried targeting uncooperative Democrats in 1932 and "it was a bust".

Representative Justin Amash, a Freedom Caucus member from MI, shot back immediately at Trump in remarks outside the US Capitol.

"Does anybody leave themselves open or vulnerable to a primary challenge?"

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"When we have a tax reform bill I can evaluate, that's when I'll start voting on it", Brooks said. He also backed the caucus on Twitter as well.

On Thursday evening, Trump tagged Republican congressmen Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of OH and Raul Labrador of Idaho, contending that if they would "get on board we would have both great health care, massive tax cuts and reform". He vowed to "fight them" in 2018 if they don't get behind him.

"When people say the Freedom Caucus is jeopardizing the president's agenda, guess what jeopardizes the president's agenda?" said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a freshman Freedom Caucus member. "We don't need to deal with that" in the catchall spending bill, he said. "I share his frustration", said Ryan.

Trump's characteristically strong-handed approach is another effort to bring the fiercely conservative group, which has repeatedly voted against Republican leaders in Congress, into line. "They can only afford about 20 defections". "The Freedom Caucus didn't care".

That means that many of Trump's agenda items that are toxic to Democrats start to look less viable as pieces of legislation after 2018 - and maybe a lot sooner if Trump's unpopularity starts to make House Republicans anxious about their election prospects.

If history is any guide, the Republicans will lose seats in the House in the 2018 mid-term election.

As a sign of tensions that have lingered after the collapse of the healthcare bill, Freedom Caucus lawmakers faced tough questioning from their colleagues during a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday, said Representative Randy Weber of Texas.

And the healthcare legislation performed poorly in opinion polls, so running a candidate against Freedom Caucus members based exclusively on their opposition to the act would be tough, said David Wells, a political science professor at Arizona State University.

Ryan couldn't explain why Nunes had not shown the documents to anyone, and he didn't say why he hadn't requested them himself using his access to the most classified intelligence. Labrador seemed to recall the time Ryan stopped actively campaigning for the celebrity businessman in the wake of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about groping women. "So, I'd say Trump's potential productive period is more like 18 months, and that estimate may be generous". "I don't understand Donald Trump's tweets at all about that today".