What's Next For The Freedom Caucus?

Apr 02, 2017, 00:58
What's Next For The Freedom Caucus?

So you had the vast majority of the Freedom Caucus that was already a yes.

The earl-morning tweet from Trump highlighted the growing schism in a Republican party that controls the White House and both branches of Congress yet appears to be teetering on the precipice of a civil war. "I think we've wanted to be yes from the get go - maybe contrary to some of the reporting that is out there - I can tell you, based on my members and listening to them, there has been and continues to be a real desire to get there to yes - and hopefully we can get there".

The plain fact is that the noisy group that goes by the blandly inane moniker of the Freedom Caucus was never on the team to begin with - neither Team GOP, nor Team Trump - and it's becoming more and more apparent that it's a fool's errand to get caucus members to join.

It did not change hearts or minds.

"The freedom caucus is unique".

I speak here of the Romney who, in 2006 as governor of MA, saw government's job as coming up with business-friendly solutions to problems the market couldn't solve on its own. The Freedom Caucus expected lot more, including the popular Obamacare provisions, that includes allowing children to stay on the insurance of their parents' until they are 26 and requiring the insurers to cover pre-existing conditions that Trump had promised during his campaign and said he wouldn't touch.

Republican lawmakers still await key details on what Mr. Trump's priorities are in the monumental tax reform effort they want to launch.

Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall, but the administration has made clear US tax dollars will finance it.

"I guess I'm just not sure what the expectation was", said Katrina Pierson, spokeswoman for America First Policies.

But even if Paul Ryan remains Speaker of the House in 2019, the Democrats wouldn't have to gain many seats at all to make his fractious GOP conference all but unmanageable. "I share his frustration", said Ryan. "But this particular president is hobbled far more than most".

Democrats said they were exercising proper congressional oversight and accused Republicans of protecting Trump.

"Ryan said: 'This is what we should have been doing, '" Weber told Reuters. "He's been suggesting that much".

Across the Capitol, Ryan's argument did not impress at least one prominent fellow Republican.

"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", Corker tweeted.

It has dawned on Republicans after the healthcare bill defeat that they can't pass critical legislation on their own. In that event, Democrats will be integral to the process because of the 60-vote hurdle to do most of the legislating in the Senate.

Ryan also said he does not believe that Trump is under investigation for ties to Russian Federation.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Tennessee Republican, was an early supporter of Trump and he said he still has a good relationship with the White House and that getting him out of office might only be worse for Republicans trying to move legislation through.

Trump once again revealed himself to be a fraud who really doesn't give a damn about the lives of those who voted for him.

SHAPIRO: There is another option here, which is that President Trump could try to work with Democrats. But Himes hasn't heard from the president.

On Wednesday - about 18 hours before Trump's Twitter attack - senior officials from the White House invited two dozen leaders from conservative groups for a closed-door session to plot a path ahead. "We're open to working with any and everyone that is willing to work toward a solution".

Himes also said the burden to extend the olive branch rests on the other side of the aisle.

"Guys, look. This is not a discussion".

If the Freedom Caucus and Speaker Ryan have learned some lessons from the AHCA fiasco, they can work together to get the job done. Congress must pass a spending bill by April 28 to avert a government shutdown, but the path ahead is narrow and filled with obstacles.

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