Trump Blames Conservative Groups For Failed Repeal Bill: You ‘Saved’ O’Care!

AP

President Donald Trump on Sunday blamed the House Freedom Caucus, Club for Growth and Heritage Action for the failure of House Republicans’ long-awaited bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C.,” Trump tweeted, citing the three conservative groups as having “saved” Planned Parenthood and Obamacare.

Heritage Action, a conservative advocacy group, opposed the initial version of the Republican repeal bill and re-upped that opposition on Tuesday and Thursday before the scheduled vote.

Club for Growth announced its support in February for members standing against the bill and called it a “warmed-over substitute for government-run health care” earlier in March.

The Republican bill was pulled half an hour before it was set to go to the floor on Friday after leaders were unable to corral enough votes — stymied by defections in both the moderate and conservative wings of the party — to get it through the House.

Trump first blamed “the Democrats,” though Republicans control both houses of Congress, then tweeted that Obamacare will “explode.”

Freedom Caucus member Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), on the other hand, blamed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other Republican leadership, who he said were “not correct” in their approach to the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he “deeply” appreciated Ryan’s “efforts” to pass the repeal, and did not publicly apportion blame for its failure.

Ryan on Friday blamed the bill’s implosion on “a block of no votes” from Republican members of the House.

“Some of the members of that caucus were voting with us, but not enough were,” he told reporters in response to a question about whether he blamed the House Freedom Caucus. “And that was sufficient to provide the balance to not have this bill pass.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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