Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Trump again blames House Freedom Caucus for failure of health care bill

Trump again blames House Freedom Caucus for failure of health care bill

On March 24, Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the Republican health care bill from consideration after it became clear that it did not have enough votes to pass the legislation, in part because of near-unified opposition from the Freedom Caucus.

Poe's resignation came mere hours after Trump took to Twitter to blame the Freedom Caucus, along with other conservative groups, for having "saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!"

On Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters that he is moving on after the Republican health care bill was pulled from a floor vote in the House of Representatives.

Trump initially focused the blame for the failure on Democrats and predicted a dire future for the current law. "And in the meantime we're going to do all of our other work that we came here to do", Ryan said Tuesday. "The point is, the diverse group of people working the halls of Congress, including the leadership in Congress, I think it's time for our folks to come together, time to get a few moderate Democrats on-board as well".

Priebus described the two events as "coincidental", insisting that Trump was helping out a friend by plugging her show and no "preplanning" occurred.

But in the call with GOP donors, Ryan said, "We are going to keep getting at this thing".

A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus is resigning after the hard line group helped scuttle the Republican health care overhaul.

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"Instead of doing the blame game, let's get to work", Jordan, R-Ohio, said on "Fox News Sunday". “In fact, he thought Paul Ryan worked really hard.

This represents a shift since Friday, when Trump blamed Democrats for the bill's failure, and expressed magnanimity toward Republicans, who control the House and the Senate.

"I think we're closer today to repealing Obamacare than we ever were before", he said.

North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson said if Republicans could find the votes, the House could again bring up last week's bill as early as this week, noting that the House Freedom Caucus was "probably feeling a lot of heat".

The Freedom Caucus wanted to amend the bill so that it would go even further in ending key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The Club for Growth, with its tight focus on anti-tax policies, has always been influential in conservative Washington circles and reportedly financed a half-billion dollar ad campaign urging Republican lawmakers to oppose their party's health bill. Move the bill back toward the center and the Freedom Caucus will buck the effort as a bloc.

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