Irony doesn’t even begin to describe the depth of internal Republican negotiations over the health care bill in the House.
Turns out, opposing everything Obama does in office isn’t the only thing Freedom Caucus members are capable of as lawmakers: they also are committed to opposing Obama’s legacy even when he’s out of office.
A large group of Republicans are (relatively) unified in their opposition to the new GOP health care bill. Why? Because it doesn’t completely repeal the law. Not satisfied enough to kick over 20 million people off of their health insurance, some Republicans want more people to experience the pain and suffering of high medical bills.
Trump himself went to Capitol Hill today to try and seal the deal. But after weeks of skirting responsibility for the legislative product, and some questionable (bully) tactics in a meeting with Republicans themselves, the outcome of this bill remains very much in doubt.
Even if it did pass the House, would it stand a snowball’s chance in the Senate? It seems like the late additions to the bill would set up an impossible procedural hurdle and I doubt that many senators would want to vote yes on this extreme piece of legislation. Indeed, there are a large number of them with stated opposition to such legislation. A watered down version may pass, but could it be reconciled with a House version?
So where does this go from here if it fails? Primaries? Twitter tantrums? We haven’t seen any of Trump’s Republican-on-Republican infighting showmanship since the primaries, where it showcased some of his best and most offensive entertainment for his fans. He didn’t win the nomination with policy, that’s for sure.
It would be nuts if Republicans shot themselves in the foot while attempting to take a disastrous legislative action that would shoot themselves in the foot for the midterm elections. But considering the state of affairs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it shouldn’t be all that surprising.