Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Thursday declined to place the blame for Republicans’ potential failure to coalesce around a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare on anyone in his party.
Instead, he pinned Republicans’ internal divisions over the repeal effort on former President Barack Obama.
“If this fails, who’s to blame? You’re not going to blame yourself. Are you going to blame the House Speaker or are you going to blame President Trump?”” CNN’s Kate Bolduan asked Brooks.
“I’m not going to blame anybody,” Brooks responded. “If this legislation does fail, it fails because of the position we were put in by Obamacare in the first instance. And Obamacare is failing– “
“But you all promised this for cycle after cycle, that you guys could get this done,” Bolduan interjected. “You’ve got the numbers, if you all could come together.”
“Well, that’s why I suggest that we go ahead and vote to repeal Obamacare with the same legislation that we had two years ago,” Brooks said, positing that Republicans could come up with additional legislation to follow the repeal of Obamacare after the fact.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has committed in the past to repealing and replacing Obamacare simultaneously.
House leadership is struggling to lock down votes on the American Health Care Act from both hardliners who believe the legislation is too much like Obamacare and moderate Republicans, who’ve been increasingly turned off by concessions granted to appease their more conservative colleagues.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said of the balancing act Thursday: “Sometimes when you put people in from one side of the wagon, people from the other side fall out.”