The Right-Wing 'Freedom Caucus' Says It's Going to Kill Trumpcare

The spokesperson for the group announced Wednesday that more than 25 members are ready to vote against the American Health Care Act.

Mar 22 2017, 7:09pm

For the past couple days Donald Trump and his allies have been attempting to twist the arms of Republicans in Congress to vote for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a piece of legislation that would water down the Obama-era Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The AHCA is widely hated—Democrats dislike it because it would weaken the ACA, and many conservatives don't think it goes far enough to repeal the current law. So Trump has been using a combination of charm and threats to sell the AHCA right-wing House members who might not like the bill, but like opposing Trump even less. It's a tough sales pitch even for a master persuader—if 22 Republicans are against the bill it will go down, and as of Wednesday afternoon it looked like it was going down big league thanks to conservative opposition:  

That tweet is from a spokesperson for the Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline right-wingers who have achieved an outsized amount of power because the Republican leadership needs their votes to pass anything. (They were behind the push that ousted former Speaker John Boehner.)  

If Trump and current Speaker Paul Ryan can't win enough votes in the next day or so—it's nut-cutting time—the AHCA may either be withdrawn to go through more revisions, or it may be defeated on the floor of the House on Thursday, when the vote is scheduled.

Even if the AHCA passes the House it faces a tougher path in the Senate. But if it couldn't even get out of the House, it will be a huge embarrassment for Ryan, who is guiding his first piece of major legislation through the sausage machine of DC. It would also be a sign that Trump—who has put his full support behind the bill—is going to have a harder time bossing around Republican members of Congress than cast members on The Apprentice.

Follow Harry Cheadle on Twitter.   

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