W Examiner: “Reports from Capitol Hill today indicate rising exasperation among old-school conservatives about the shifting, raise-the-ante, refuse-to-say-“yes” demands from most members of the House Freedom Caucus, with regard to the upcoming vote on the House Republican healthcare bill.
The exasperation is well-justified.
The House Freedom Caucus is clearly driven by outside groups such as Heritage Action, which has become such an all-or-nothing, my-way-or-the-highway outfit that it makes Patrick Henry look like a compromising squish. It seems as if every concession made to the Freedom Caucus is met with a new demand.”
“The House leadership’s original bill contained a lot of good features but doubtless left much to be desired. Its policy mix was poorly cobbled together; the political groundwork for it was nearly non-existent; and the public relations surrounding its release was slow, muted and confused. But since then, the Trump White House and the leadership team have made yeomen’s efforts to improve the bill. They have listened, reconsidered, adjusted and reworked a number of provisions — especially by encouraging block grants and work requirements for Medicaid.
But the House Freedom Caucus leaders and their outside pressure groups have refused to get on board even to keep alive what surely will be the only vehicle to replace Obamacare that will come up this year. They have no respect for the reality that the budget “reconciliation” rules do indeed put real parameters on what can be included in such legislation with just 51 votes. They show no memory of how the only reason the whole of Obamacare passed in 2010 was because the Senate did meet a 60-vote threshold on Christmas Eve of 2009 and then used that vote as pretext for claiming reconciliation rules either already had been met or else no longer applied — and thus that Democrats then had an advantage Republicans do not enjoy right now.”
Budget chief Mick Mulvaney: “The president has said he wants the vote tomorrow. If for any reason it goes down, we’re just going to move forward with additional parts of his agenda. This is our moment in time.”