Republicans plot second attempt at ObamaCare repeal

The President threatened to try to defeat members of the Freedom Caucus - a bloc of conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives - in next year's congressional elections if they continued to defy him. He made no mention of working with Democrats, saying he's encouraged some Republicans who had opposed the measure last week now indicate they want to support it.

Massie, who is not a member of the Freedom Caucus, answered Trump's tweet with one of his own.

Meadows also said Tuesday he was working with Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., who is co-chairman of Tuesday Group - a caucus of moderate House Republicans - to set up a meeting with members of both groups who had been against the bill.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said he does not want President Donald Trump to work with Democrats on new legislation for revamping the country's health insurance system, commonly called Obamacare. "We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"

But as the White House considered flexing its muscle against the Freedom Caucus, the group remained unbowed, with several members immediately hitting back against a president whose agenda has stalled, whose approval ratings are hovering below 40 percent and who has been dogged by the ongoing probe into contacts between his associates and Russian officials.

But Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, a member of the Energy and Commerce committee that deals with some aspects of the health care bill, agreed Democrats have no interest in repealing the Affordable Care Act.

"But that's the president", said McCain who sometimes is at odds with Mr. Trump. "Nearly everyone succumbs to the D.C. establishment".

The message from Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was that despite last week's failed attempt, the GOP could not walk away from the effort to repeal the collapsing law, and replacing it with Republican reforms.

And it's been something of a marriage of convenience for Trump and Ryan and McConnell.

Labrador responded to Trump on Twitter that, "Freedom Caucus stood with u when others ran". "Remember who your real friends are".

"Challenge Democrats to help you fix their mess".

"It is absolute suicide for the Republican Party to continue following the course they're embarking on right now", he said.

For their part, Democrats say they are ready - if not exactly excited - to work with the president. Jordan said Republicans need to figure out how to work together to confront looming battles including the federal budget, appropriations and raising the USA debt ceiling.

"It's the same old thing with the Freedom Caucus: Don't let the ideal be the enemy of the good", Ellis said.

SHAPIRO: Is the Freedom Caucus feeling much pressure?

" read one tweet Trump sent Thursday morning".

As Trump learned, health care is a hard one. Republicans say the program is too costly and unfairly forces Americans to purchase insurance or face a tax penalty.

"Some people are still in that hurt-feelings and frustration" stage, Davidson said. "Absolutely. I think they're going to have to do what the constituents want", he said.

Ryan and other Republican leaders, however, appeared more optimistic Republicans could come together.

The president blames the House Freedom Caucus for the failure of the health care bill.

The mistrust between the White House and hardline conservatives in Congress has called into question the next big item on Trump's agenda, sweeping tax cuts. Bob Corker of Tennessee, further showcasing the GOP's intraparty divisions.

"We are talking about how to get Obamacare repealed and replaced", Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., said as he left the meeting.

  • Joanne Flowers