House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) was spotted on the Senate side of the Capitol Thursday to take part in the discussions around the Senate Obamacare repeal bill. His hope is that the bill that the Senate eventually passes – assuming GOP leadership breaks the current impasse and gets 50 senators to support it – can be brought up for a quick vote in the House, Meadows told reporters, even though some conservatives so far have been skeptical of the draft Senate legislation released.
If the tweaks to the Senate bill that GOP leadership is currently making to legislation also put it in line with what House conservatives are demanding, Republicans can avoid a messy conference process where differences between the House and Senate bills would typically be hammered out. That means, the Senate’s repeal bill could be law in a matter of days after it passes the Senate, once the House votes to approve it and it gets President Trump’s signature.
Meadows said he is supportive of an amendment being pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to let insurers sell plans not compliant with the Obamacare market reforms Republicans have kept in their draft bill. Such an amendment could replace the waiver provision in the House bill pushed by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) to win over House conservatives, Meadows suggested. He added that he is open to other ideas that lower premiums.
“If the Cruz consumer choice amendment gets there, yes i can support it without the McArthur amendment in there,” Meadows said.