Freedom Caucus to force Obamacare repeal vote

The conservative House Freedom Caucus on Friday is planning to try to force a vote on a “clean Obamacare repeal” bill.

What’s known as a “discharge petition” is expected to be filed on Friday, and if it collects 218 signatures, it will force Speaker Paul Ryan to bring it up for a vote. After failing to repeal the healthcare law in the Senate last month, the new bill would repeal Obamacare after a two-year transition period, according to news reports.

This kind of a move is usually used to go around leadership in an effort to bring a measure to the floor for a vote.

The Freedom Caucus, along with some other Republicans, are pushing to keep the repeal effort alive, despite the Senate’s failed vote last month.

The group now wants to vote on a repeal-only measure that passed in 2015. Conservatives say Republicans who dare to vote against that bill now would be quite hypocritical, considering the fact that they already voted for it two years ago.

However, with many Republicans saying that they want to have replacement measures in place so that people don’t lose coverage, the repeal-only bill could fall flat.

The move could get backing from the White House, though, which has been pushing for Republicans in Congress not to give up on a repeal. Besides which, the president is getting antsy.

President Trump has been bashing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a series of tweets, and on Thursday afternoon, he wrote, “Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!”

Earlier Thursday morning, Trump continued his slamming of Sen. McConnell regarding his lack of work.

In this tweet, Trump wrote: “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!”

Trump previously addressed McConnell on Wednesday about “excessive expectations” in regards to getting bills passed. McConnell blamed the president’s lack of experience for his frustration with the “democratic process.” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has spoken out in defense of President Trump, and dismissed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that Trump simply had “unrealistic expectations.”

On Wednesday, Graham was a guest on Fox News’ “Brian Kilmeade Show” and was asked to comment on McConnell’s claim:

“I like Mitch, but for eight years, we’ve been saying we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare.  It’s not like we made this up overnight. We have been working on repealing Obamacare all year. The idea put forward didn’t pass – it was, in many ways, I think, an ill-conceived idea. I’m not moving on, I’ve got to build a block grant, give all the money we’ve spent on Obamacare back to the states, and put the governors in charge. And have fifty different solutions to healthcare rather than the Obamacare solution which is a single payer plan over time, so I’m not giving up, President Trump’s not giving up. I’m going to introduce our bill with Senator Cassidy and I hope we’ll take it up when we get back in September. There is no way to sugar coat this. The Republican party promised for eight years to repeal and replace Obamacare. We failed, and if we give up, shame on us.”

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