Leader Of GOP’s House Hardliners: Still A ‘Good Chance’ Of Obamacare Repeal

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., center, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, reacts to a reporter's question, as he walks after a Freedom Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
March 26, 2017 11:32 am

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on Sunday that he believes there is still “a good chance” Republicans can unite along the ideological spectrum to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“I still believe that there is a good chance, if moderates and conservatives can come together, that we repeal and replace Obamacare,” Meadows said on ABC’s “This Week.”

He brushed off President Donald Trump’s tweet from earlier Sunday morning claiming that “Democrats are smiling in D.C.” over the bill’s implosion.

“If they’re applauding, they shouldn’t, because I can tell you that conversations over the last 48 hours are really about how we come together in the Republican conference and try to get this over the finish line,” Meadows said.

He said the bill, which was pulled half an hour before it was set to go to the floor on Friday for a vote, was “not a final passage.”

“This was one bill that was going to go to the Senate, get revised and come back,” Meadows said. “If it was the final bill, that would be accurate, but here we are in the negotiation process.”

Before the scheduled vote, however, Trump’s administration took a different tack. White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that there was only “plan A” and denied that the bill was in trouble.

After the bill was pulled on Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted defeat “for the foreseeable future.”

Both he and the White House appeared eager to move on to other policy matters.

“There are other parts of our agenda that people have even more agreement on, on what to achieve,” Ryan said on Friday.

“There’s a lot to be done,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on Sunday. “The President wants to do a lot of things.”

Meadows told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that Ryan — for the moment — will not go the same way as former House Speaker John Boehner, who the House Freedom Caucus drove out of office in 2015.

“There is no conversation going on right now with regards to replacing the Speaker,” Meadows said. “It’s all hands on deck with regards to Obamacare, tax reform, the border wall.”

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