Members of the House Freedom Caucus said the leadership-backed Obamacare repeal legislation, which is slated to go to vote Thursday, is far from where it needs to be to gain their support and lacks the votes to pass the lower chamber.
The powerful conservative group was joined by GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — who have also voiced opposition to the bill — at their caucus meeting Monday, where they discussed their stance on health-care reform.
Changes to the legislation are expected to be rolled out in the form of a manager’s amendment before midnight. But according to HFC Chairman Mark Meadows, who had not seen the amendment as of 9:30 p.m., the language he was told it contained is not enough to sway HFC members.
“Based on what I’ve been told is in the manager’s amendment and what I shared with the members tonight, I don’t think that it moves anybody or makes a compelling case to move anybody from where their previous position were,” he told reporters after the meeting.
The group has repeatedly expressed concerns about the legislation, railing against its language on tax credits, the 30 percent increase in premiums for those who drop coverage and its timeline on rolling back Medicaid expansion.
While leadership said adjustments will continue to be made as the Rules Committee has not yet marked up the bill, Meadows said the HFC has been told the amendments they plan to put forward likely won’t be taken seriously by the bill’s proponents.
“Well that’s not to say that’s not to say that there is obviously a whole lot of discussions that are going on and you know if meaningful changes happen — we’ve been trying to negotiate in good faith,” he continued. “We’ve been led to believe that there are no more amendments that will be allowed that substantially change things, and so if that’s the case I think it makes it very difficult if not impossible to get to 216 tomorrow.”
Meadows said the legislation still …
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