Despite an ultimatum from President Donald Trump, conservative members of the House of Representatives have continued their attacks against the GOP leadership’s healthcare bill on the day of a pass-or-fail vote.
Various members of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of House lawmakers, say the American Health Care Act does not go far enough in repealing Obamacare and have expressed their intention to vote against the bill.
“No, I’m not ready to surrender on something as important as Obamacare,” Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama said during an interview with CNBC on Friday. “I am going to vote against [the AHCA], because it is one of the worst bills I have seen in my 30 years as a county commissioner, legislator, district attorney, and now congressman. It’s very, very bad in a variety of ways.”
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told GOP House members in a meeting late Thursday to pass the AHCA, warning that Trump would move on and leave Obamacare in place.
Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, another Freedom Caucus member who has described himself as a “hell no” on the AHCA, said that the ultimatum undermined the very fabric of the US government system.
“If Exec branch tells Legislative branch ‘when 2 vote’ ‘how 2 vote’ & ‘what it will b allowed 2 work on if vote fails,’ is that a republic?” Massie tweeted Friday.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who has been vocal in his distaste for the bill calling it “Obamacare 2.0,” also took to Twitter to attack GOP leadership for editing the bill while leaving some members in the dark about the changes.
Amash was one of four Republican representatives to vote against a measure that will allow the final version of the AHCA to be released and voted on in the same day.
“We must have the opportunity to read and understand the final bill before we vote,” Amash tweeted. “It’s irresponsible to do otherwise.”
Some conservatives, however, have softened their stances.
Rep. Scott Desjarlais of Tennessee was leaning against the bill but shifted to undecided, calling the vote “a really tough choice.” Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina also moderated his tone Thursday night, telling Politico he was undecided after being a “no” previously.
But a good portion of the roughly 35-member Freedom Caucus still appears to be against the AHCA and plans to vote against the bill.
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chair of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters on Thursday that “we have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes at this point” to pass the AHCA.
Trump, for his part, turned to attacking the Freedom Caucus on Friday. After meeting with the group on Wednesday and Thursday, the president took to Twitter on Friday morning to lambaste the group for their stance against the bill.
A Republican source close to the discussion told Business Insider that a final vote on the bill will most likely take place Friday afternoon after 4 p.m.
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