CNN has some interesting reporting from today. As you may know Trump put the hammer down this morning, pressure Republicans to vote for the bill or they might have trouble getting reelected.
But after Trump left the Capitol, the Freedom Caucus met and Mark Meadows still contends that they have the 21 votes needed to kill Obamacare lite:
CNN – Tuesday morning, Trump arrived on Capitol Hill ready to apply the pressure to Republicans in a closed-door meeting. The President called out Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows by name, warning members in the meeting that they could lose their seats in the 2018 election or in primaries if House Republicans couldn’t deliver on their seven-year promise to repeal the Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“Honestly, a loss is not acceptable folks,” Trump said according to an aide in the room.
“Mark Meadows, he called out two or three times,” Rep. Bill Flores, a Texas Republican, told reporters after the meeting. “The reaction when he said ‘Mark Meadows, I’m coming after you’ was pretty loud cheers.”
Meadows’ North Carolina colleague Richard Hudson told reporters “Oh, Mr. Meadows loves any attention. Any spotlight he has — it was the highlight of his week.”
The conservative flank of the party has long irritated leadership, but its ability to hold the line and get their way is far less certain under Trump.
Multiple members emerging from the meeting noted that Trump seemed to be half joking in his remarks, but the reality for Freedom Caucus members is clear; a vote against the GOP bill — the “American Health Care Act” — could have real consequences for their political futures.
“This is not a decision made on personalities, it’s made on policies,” Meadows said Monday night. “In my opinion, just speaking candidly, this is a defining moment for our nation, but it’s also a defining moment for the Freedom Caucus.”
Still, Meadows remained steadfast after the meeting, claiming he still planned to vote “no” on the bill. Asked if he was worried he could lose his seat for voting against Trump’s first legislative agenda item, Meadows shook his head.
“You know I serve at the pleasure to the people of Western North Carolina and when you serve at their pleasure, it’s only those 750,000 people that can send you home, and it’s a temporary job and I have known that since Day 1,” Meadows said after the meeting.
Meadows was just as confident after an early afternoon Freedom Caucus session, in which reporters could hear applause and thumping on tables. He said there’s more than the 21 votes needed to block the measure.
The Freedom Caucus is being treated seriously. Meadows was called into a meeting Tuesday afternoon with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss the bill.
I just hope that the members of the Freedom Caucus resist the pressure to cave and hang on for dear life right now, in order to get the proper repeal and replace that America really wants and needs.
The changes that have been suggested thus far haven’t really changed anything.
This post originally appeared on The Right Scoop