Trump hits Freedom Caucus; experts say members have little to fear
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 19:56
They've got the Oval Office, they've got the Senate and the House.
On Thursday evening, Trump tagged Republican congressmen Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of OH and Raul Labrador of Idaho, contending that if they would "get on board we would have both great health care, massive tax cuts and reform".
House Republicans are considering making another run next week at passing the health-care bill they abruptly pulled from the floor last Friday in an embarrassing setback to their efforts to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature health-care expansion. Justin AmashJustin AmashFreedom Caucus fires back at Trump: We're "keeping our promise" on healthcare Trump on the warpath against Freedom Caucus Sanford: Trump threatened to back a primary challenger MORE (R-Mich.), a Freedom Caucus member, told reporters.
But Gonzales said the caucus' vote on the American Health Care Act "proved that they still have influence and power, and I don't think we can know for sure whether that was the end until the next fight comes onto the table". On Thursday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that "we must fight" the conservative band of representatives.
Rep. Andy Harris: "It was called 'The New Black.' It says, quote-this is from their website-and I'm now-I'm going to get to the agenda issue".
Conservatives who support the Freedom Caucus responded to Trump's proclamation Thursday with a mixture of disappointment, dismissal - and defiance.
Rep. Justin Amash of MI was more biting: "It didn't take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump". April 29 - the potential shutdown day - also will mark the 100th day of Trump's presidency, a date not lost on Republicans. It resembles a public relations campaign, with a drum corps sound track and images of the president's rallies overlaid with text such as, "Results not common in Washington, D.C".
"Freedom Caucus stood with u when others ran". Remember who your real friends are.
"As President, you have a responsibility to protect and sustain the marketplaces and the coverage they provide to so many Americans", Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wrote. They have also taken a stand knowing that while Trump is popular in their districts, they are equally so.
But Trump's attack on the Freedom Caucus could open up a rift with grassroots conservatives.
MONTANARO: Well, you know, look.
Trump's abortive health reform "doesn't change Washington like we told them we were going to change Washington", said Rep. Jim Jordan, a Freedom Caucus member.. The caucus helped to defeat the GOP Obamacare replacement bill last week. He added this advice to Trump: "Sit down with them and say this is an emergency situation".
The statement quickly earned a rebuke from a senior member of his own party. Sen.
Trump feels he no longer needs conservatives now, but he is wrong, unless he is committed to being a one-term president.
Jim Jordan of OH said, "I respect the President, but our focus is on the legislation".
"I don't feel compelled", Brat said. "About 90 percent of our conference is in favor of our bill, and 10 percent" are not, he said.
And that loss of support comes nearly entirely from Republicans and Trump voters - not Democrats.