GOP Rep. Resigns From Freedom Caucus After Obamacare Repeal Fails

March 27, 2017 6:41 a.m.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) announced on Sunday that he would resign from the House Freedom Caucus after the bloc of conservative members refused to back Republican leaders’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward,” Poe said in a statement. “Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead.”

Republicans pulled the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Friday when it was clear that the legislation did not have enough votes to pass. The Freedom Caucus’ opposition to the bill helped ensure its failure, though some moderates in the House also declined to back the bill.

In a Sunday tweet, President Donald Trump placed some blame for the effort’s failure on the Freedom Caucus, saying that the group “saved” Obamcare and funding for Planned Parenthood.

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In an interview on CNN Monday morning, Poe criticized the Freedom Caucus’ approach to the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. He said that while the caucus started as a force opposing Democrats, it’s now an “opposition caucus against anything in the Republican Party.”

He said that Republican leaders tried to compromise with the Freedom Caucus on the American Health Care Act.

“At the end of the day, no, it was easier to vote no. And so I’m angry about that,” Poe told CNN.

“I got the opinion that there’s some members of the Freedom Caucus, they’d vote no against the Ten Commandments if it came up for a vote,” he added later.

This post has been updated.

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