Freedom Caucus, Tuesday Group meet with Pence

Posted April 09, 2017

The Freedom Caucus' new comments come amid recent tweets from President Donald Trump that signal hostility toward the conservative lawmakers who stymied the healthcare bill he supported. Rand Paul to his Virginia golf course on Sunday, planning to discuss health care with the outspoken critic of the failed plan to repeal and replace so-called Obamacare.

And in just the past few days, the president and the White House have singled out the Freedom Caucus and specific members for their non-support - including Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash and South Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford, who is sponsoring the House version of Paul's overhaul plan.

Rand Paul, a Republican senator playing a major role in the attempt to revive the healthcare bill, said on Tuesday the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers were still at an impasse. "To them, it left too numerous problems with Affordable Care Act in place, including tax credits and subsidies and expanding Medicaid".

In the earlier meeting with the moderate Tuesday Group, White House officials said the new plan would preserve Obamacare's essential health benefits clause, or services and care that insurers must cover, but states could apply for a waiver if they could show it would improve coverage and reduce costs, according to Collins. The Wisconsin Republican said he believed his party was moving toward consensus, but conceded he didn't know if the House would vote on the measure before beginning a two-week recess later this week.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady said the meeting with his panel's 16 Democratic members will focus on ways to simplify the USA tax code for individuals and stop US companies from moving production and research facilities overseas - both key House Republican tax reform objectives.

Paul has argued his bill more fully repeals and replaces the 2010 health care law, under which consumers are facing rising costs and fewer policy options. During the bitter Republican primary, the pair regularly traded barbs, with then-candidate Trump claiming in a written statement he "easily beat" Paul on the links. On Capitol Hill, members of the House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group have struggled to rebuild trust following the health care debacle in March. "I continue to be very optimistic that we are getting closer and closer to an agreement on repealing Obamacare", Paul told White House pool reporters on Sunday afternoon. Conservatives have wanted to remove that requirement in any GOP passed plan, while some moderates have wanted to keep them in.

However, a source familiar with internal House Republican deliberations said that healthcare, not tax reform, now topped the House agenda and that the healthcare effort was being driven by the White House.

What President Trump doesn't seem to understand is that when establishment Republicans talk about "governing" and "legislating" what they really mean is growing government at a slightly slower pace or to benefit a different set of cronies than the Democrats would if they were in power. Trump has also blamed the Democrats and warned that Obamacare will "implode".

Pence and two top White House officials made the offer Monday night in a closed-door meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus, participants said.

"I don't see how that would work", Coffman said adding that he still needed to see "what else is in the bill".