House GOP leaders expressed confidence Tuesday morning that the party would be able to repeal and replace Obamacare after a conference meeting with members - a total reversal just four days after pulling the plug on their first effort - while their Senate counterparts seemed eager to abandon the issue entirely.
During an interview on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina told viewers that he's OK with running a deficit, if it's in the name of tax cuts.
Since Friday, President Trump has blamed House Democrats and the Republican Freedom Caucus for the bill's failure.
In additional fallout from Friday's jarring setback, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said he was leaving the caucus.
The Trump administration had offered the Freedom Caucus a repeal of Obamacare's "essential health benefits", regulatory changes that would mean insurers no longer would have to include benefits such as maternity care or mental health coverage in their plans. And I think that there was nothing that could be added to the bill that the Freedom Caucus would ever vote yes on. The Wisconsin Republican said the health care bill was a better option for defunding the organization than including the provision in the upcoming must-pass spending bill.More news: Neymar sent off in Barca loss, Atletico draws at Real Madrid
After the bill was pulled half an hour before it was set to go to the House floor on Friday Ryan told reporters: "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future".
Still reeling from last week's House health care debacle, Republicans are pivoting to tax cuts and other issues but remain riven into factions and all over the map about how and when to return to their marquee pledge to eviscerate former President Barack Obama's 2010 overhaul.
"We're going to get this right", Ryan said, "and in the meantime, we're going to do all the other work we came here to do". In the opposition, you can vote to repeal Obamacare 60 times without giving much thought to what comes next. If Speaker Ryan struggled with this, what will happen when the going gets tough?
The Freedom Caucus has no chance of getting its approach to health care through Congress, and if if they did, Trump would be betraying his supporters to back it. The president was joking around, according to those present, but Meadows still might want to keep a close eye on his favorite bunny.
"We elect people to Congress to solve problems, not to make life worse for Americans". But they shouldn't act like they are doing us a favor by doing their job.
On Sunday, Trump turned his criticism toward conservative lawmakers for the failure of the Republican bill, complaining on Twitter: "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!" "I think it's time we lead and continue not to say "no" on everything that takes place when bills come forward". In addition, although Ryan is fairly new to his current position, Trump could reasonably believe the Speaker's assessment of what his caucus would, with some arm-twisting, agree to. "That's how we do things on the battlefield, that's how things should be done here", said freshman Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., an Army veteran who lost both legs after being wounded in Afghanistan.