Members of the House Freedom Caucus are not pleased with the GOP leadership’s proposal to phase Obamacare out in several stages over a period of several years. When it emerged that Republicans at the top of the party were preparing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in such a way that it would not be effectively eliminated for at least three years, several of the most conservative lawmakers vowed to put up a fight.
“It should be repealed and replaced. And all of that should be done in the 115th Congress, not left to a future Congress to deal with,” Rep. Mark Meadows told Politico this weekend.
Many of the roughly 40 members of the Freedom Caucus were supporters of Donald Trump, but they remain skeptical about current House Speaker, Paul Ryan. The conservative wing of the House has given Ryan space to move since taking over for John Boehner, but the honeymoon phase is likely coming to an end. Caucus members are not only upset with the proposal to drag out Obamacare replacement, but also with the GOP’s failure to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. And while Ryan had the support of House Republicans in the nomination vote, the floor vote still remains. If the Freedom Caucus decides to wage a coup, they could send him packing just as they did Boehner.
For now, with the bad blood seemingly behind Ryan and Trump (for now), it would probably be best to let Ryan take the reigns for the new president’s first year in office. If there are adjustments to be made, make them later. Ryan has been downright giddy since the election, so let’s wait and see where this shakes out. The first 100 days will be critical. If there is still the kind of disarray within the GOP that we’ve seen for the last four years, there are going to have to be some changes made. The voters have done all they can do at this point. We have been reminded yet again that we might need to “drain the swamp” of more than just lobbyists.
Hopefully, no further measures will be needed. Trump campaigned on his dealmaking abilities, and he’ll have ample time to prove those abilities in the coming months and years. If it results in a unified GOP that works for a better, more conservative America, he’ll go down in history.