On replacing Obamacare, the mighty Trump struck out
Apr 02 2017 by Joshua Bennett
But it is not obvious when he will be able to celebrate a big legislative success in Congress.
The Freedom Caucus failed the test.
President Donald Trump has neither a clear White House tax plan nor adequate staff yet to see through a planned tax reform, according to interviews with people in the administration, in Congress and among USA tax experts. They recruited a primary challenger for him in 2014 with backing from the U.S. "And is it really too much to ask that they do what they said they were going to do?" All 13 states with the highest proportion of people getting federal subsidies for their insurance premiums voted for him last November, according to federal data.
They asked for language preventing nonMedicaid-expansion states from becoming expansion states - and got it. "We have come a long way in our country when the Speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem", Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee tweeted. Freedom Caucus members often choose not to cooperate because caucus members hate government, including the branch they occupy.
That was the moment the Freedom Caucus made its choice. "The way to get votes is to have better legislation".
Now, they're in full control of government but unable to deliver their pledge. Ryan stands by the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Devin Nunes, who canceled a public hearing that could have embarrassed Trump after the White House stated its objection; went on a secret trip to White House grounds to gather what he considered exculpatory material and then released it publicly while keeping fellow committee members in the dark; and quarreled with the FBI for investigating Trump's Russian Federation ties. "It was a blessing that the Freedom Caucus kept it from reaching his desk". "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus", he tweeted, "with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!".
When the proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare was withdrawn from the House of Representatives - and Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, who led the repeal effort, admitted that Obamacare would continue to be the law of the land - Trump attempted to blame Democrats for the failure of his administration.
Since joining Congress in 2011, Amash has staked out the kind of independent role that Trump campaigned on in MI and elsewhere, refusing to go along with party leaders on numerous occasions - and siding with Democrats when it made sense to him, for instance on issues of government surveillance - and maintaining what has been a consistent stance on what government's responsibilities should be.
Thankfully for conservatives, Democrats have thus far shown no interest in working with Trump. In his March 20 speech in Louisville, for example, Trump not only did not frame Obamacare as a jobs and wages issue, he didn't even try very hard to portray it as a cost-of-living issue, offering only a few sentences on rising premiums and not once uttering the word "deductible". The latest trial, set in motion by the health care defeat, remains fundamentally unresolved. "These Freedom Caucus guys just don't see themselves as vulnerable". "This was more of a listening session, shall we say, than a progress session", reported Greg Walden of OR, one of the authors of the failed bill.
That would work out well for young and healthy people who don't go to the doctor much.
Poe is right. Freedom Caucus members need to understand that they are not in the opposition anymore. "Even the experts say it doesn't repeal Obamacare". The goal is not to support the most conservative legislation; it is - to paraphrase William F. Buckley's famous rule - to support the most conservativeviablelegislation that can win. However, the likelihood of passage for any tax reform bill will be negatively affected by the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.