Republican Rep. Ted Poe of Texas resigned from the House Freedom Caucus on Sunday after the group’s opposition to the American Health Care Act contributed to the bill’s failure this week.
“In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward,” Poe said, in a statement first reported by Fox News.
“Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do,” he said. “Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective Member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead.”
Poe was one of the few members of the Freedom Caucus who had said he intended to vote for the AHCA. According to Fox News, he had personally told President Donald Trump he would support the healthcare legislation.
However, the approximately 30-member Freedom Caucus’s near-universal opposition to the legislation ensured that Republicans would not have sufficient votes to get the bill out of the House, prompting GOP leadership to pull the bill from consideration on Friday.
Members of the Freedom Caucus, the most right-leaning flank in Congress, said they rejected the healthcare bill for not going far enough in repealing provisions of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Republicans’ failure to repeal the law has been viewed as a failure for both Trump and party leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan, the AHCA’s architect.
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