Trump’s Leadership Fails Cause Lasting Damage: Poe Quits Freedom Caucus

Longtime Houston, Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe has resigned from the House Freedom Caucus. His reason is specifically tied to HFC’s position against Swampcare. Poe said in a statement published by The Hill:

In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective Member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead.

I can’t disagree with Poe’s decision. President Trump went on the attack, shifting all blame for Republicans failure to agree on Swampcare  to the HFC.

If Poe wanted to vote “yes” on the AHCA, being connected with Rep. Mark Meadows and the others within the HFC put him in a pickle. Although the group never voted to formally oppose the bill as a bloc, it was well known how its members felt.

Poe represents some of the more well-heeled areas in north Houston, including Kingswood, an oilman’s planned community built with Exxon’s money and influence back in the 1970’s. He also represents some parts of heavily-Democratic Houston inside the loops. AHCA was probably a good compromise for that particular mix.

Losing one Congressman doesn’t spell doom for the HFC, but it could be the first of many. Add to that the specific calling-out of HFC, Club for Growth and Heritage by Trump and some House members may have good reason to distance themselves. Essentially, Trump put conservatives in the shoot-the-hostage conundrum, demanding their suicide or he’ll shoot the hostages. Then he blamed them for the hostages’ death.

It’s fairly well agreed by most of the writers at The Resurgent that Swampcare was a poor bill and a poorer attempt at “repeal and replace.” The real argument is whether anything better could have been crafted this quickly. There’s considerable disagreement (not just here, but in general) over whether Republicans should have voted for Swampcare as the best start to an Obamacare repeal, or stand firm for a more conservative approach.

Fox News’ Brit Hume ignited such an argument on Twitter, with this tweet. “Smart of [Poe] to quit the [Freedom Caucus], the group responsible for keeping Obamacare in full effect while hurting party & POTUS.”

Read the whole thread and you’ll see all the arguments…here are the main ones on both sides.

a. It wasn’t just the HFC that killed Swampcare, there was significant opposition across the party, and in the Senate (which would have killed it).

b. Swampcare would not have cured the worst parts of Obamacare (unaffordable premiums), so it’s arguable which would “hurt the American people” more.

c. This bill was the best Republicans could have gotten and the HFC squandered it.

I think the problem here is the same one President Trump had with his immigration executive order: premature action. He went for the quick win, and didn’t have the team, plan and talent to make it happen.

Trump thinks he has much more of a mandate to do these things than he actually does. He eschews the normal politicking that goes on for a bill of such sweeping import. He might have been able to sell AHCA if he had gone on the road, sold it to the people in states where health care is in fact a disaster, and laid out a plan for regulatory, legislative and corporate support.

But that requires specific leadership skills that Trump has not shown us to this point. He might learn them in time. But now the issue is one of blame, and Trump would never, ever accept any blame. He told the HFC that it was this bill or nothing, and I believe he’ll stick to that for a while. And the president will make them pay for their intransigence.

Those who want to stand against a president who isn’t afraid to tweet pejoratives against specific congressmen may find themselves pretty lonely on the Hill. That’s not their fault; the blame lies squarely in the Oval Office.

We are off to a very poor start for a Trump presidency. Democrats smell blood in the water. The next big hurdle is Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation vote. If Democrats think they can peel off enough Republicans to stop them from going nuclear and killing the filibuster, they may be able to effectively block him.

Trump’s splitting Republicans on Swampcare may have lasting effects, giving Democrats much more power and confidence when they should be almost invisible as Republicans were in 2010. Too many losses in a row for Trump will spell a very long and painful four years, if the president doesn’t get his house in order.

Trump and Conservatives: The ‘I’ll Shoot The Hostages’ Conundrum

Let’s say in a hypothetical situation, someone has a group of innocent hostages, people you care about. They tell you they’re going to shoot the hostages unless you do certain things–a typical ransom situation.

Do you do it? Well, that all depends, doesn’t it?

If the hostage-taker wants money, it’s a no brainer (provided you have the money). If they want you to go and kill someone, it more problematic, but should still be a no-brainer. If you kill someone, you’re a murderer. If they don’t kill someone because you did, it doesn’t absolve you.

This is what we’ve got with Trump and conservatives over Swampcare.

We should have expected no less, because this is who we elected.

Leon Wolf published a tweet thread dealing with Trump’s “abject failure of leadership.”

 

I agree, but there’s more. Trump didn’t sell the bill to the public, allowed the GOP in Congress to publicly fracture, and basically held it hostage. The bill was not just bad to conservatives and Americans who are dealing with 20 percent premium hikes, it was totally unacceptable.

If Republicans had passed it, their constituents would have been rightly upset that they did nothing to ease the core problems of Obamacare, except take ownership of those problems.

Then, like the hostage-taker who then murders the hostages when the target of the ransom doesn’t kill his intended target, he blames the innocent target for the murders. It’s not deal-making, in that sense. He wanted the Freedom Caucus to kill itself, and after its suicide he could do as he pleases.

But in the sense that Trump isn’t a policy person, or a conservative, it’s totally expected. Trump doesn’t want a free-market approach to health care. He simply refused to sell this bill to Americans because he knew they wouldn’t buy it. They will buy free government health care if it’s sold like it’s really free. Democrats have been selling it forever.

Watch for Trump to join the Democrats on the next round. But there won’t be a next round until the pesky conservatives like the Freedom Caucus have been silenced or brushed aside. Trump would rather make deals with Democrats than conservatives.

Trump is no friend of conservatives, and now we’re seeing the fruit of the voters’ choice.

Republican Leadership Would Rather Negotiate with Democrats than Conservatives on Obamacare

Within hours of SwampCare being pulled by Speaker Ryan, Republican leaders in the senate were signaling full retreat on any conservative plan to repeal Obamacare. Both Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) stated openly that the response to conservatives stopping SwampCare was for House and Senate leadership to work with democrats to craft a new bill…not stand with conservative members who are working to fulfill the promise of full repeal:

Many commentators and Republican members have claimed that conservatives allowed ‘the perfect to become the enemy of the good’ or that conservatives are unwilling to negotiate. The insidious nature of these lies can be found when the bill is examined and the process understood. While Speaker Ryan may claim that his bill gave conservatives “80%” of what they want, non-partisan analysis of the bill from groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation have detailed the yuge flaws in the ACHA.

TPPF’s Chip Roy (Sen. Ted Cruz’s former Chief of Staff) released a statement following the bill’s death sheds light on the conservative reforms necessary in a true repeal bill.

While the Freedom Caucus has been lambasted by leadership as unwilling to negotiate, the truth of the matter is that Rep. Meadows and his colleagues worked at every turn to amend the bill into one they could in good conscience support. These attempts were thwarted by House leadership at every turn. Furthermore, moderate Republicans like Reps Frelinghuysen and Comstock (not members of the Freedom Caucus) who refused to support the bill and lent the final death knell.

While Senate leadership may be looking to their left for help, we do have a small cadre of conservatives who stand by their promise of full repeal. They’re under no illusion that it will be an easy process but their promises of the last 7 years have been sincere. They know the importance of repeal in many cases because it was the passage of Obamacare that catalyzed their election:

Thursday afternoon, Sen. Mike Lee summed up the reasons that the bill failed and the path forward for repeal. Watch the video below:

Trump Is As Arrogant As Obama; If He Wants Obamacare, Let Him Keep It

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Trump’s final position on Swampcare is that if Republicans don’t pass it, he’s fine with keeping Obamacare.

This isn’t dealmaking, it’s arrogant absurdity. After two years of telling everyone how Obamacare is a disaster, Trump would rather live with the disaster and blame conservatives than negotiate changes that will amount to a full repeal and replace.

Either Trump was never serious about getting rid of Obamacare, he’s not serious about this threat, or he simply could care less about millions of Americans forced to pay 20+ percent premium increases year after year. The definition of a person who does this is “jerk.” There are worse words for it, that I won’t use here.

If I were angry, I’d write something like this:

“What does a billionaire care about families who can’t afford $1400 a month premiums so they don’t buy health insurance? What does a political dilettante care about conservative principles he never bothered to learn or support?”

But I’m not angry. I’m recognizing that the voters elected this man, fully knowing how he is. This is Trump’s arrogant and self-aggrandizing way of telling the GOP, “it’s my way or the highway, buddy!” If they don’t like the AHCA as written–crafted to appease moderate Republicans, with a few tweaks to make it look like it’s repealing Obamacare (but it isn’t), then he will blame them for keeping the original.

The Democrats will crow about it for years and many Republicans in Congress will have to answer to angry crowds at home, with no support from the president.

If ACHA passes, and becomes a millstone around Republicans in 2018, Trump will simply point to Congress and say “it was their bill.” He’ll call it Ryancare. The arrogance of Trump is just as bad as the arrogance of former President Obama. Neither of them can accept blame for anything, in any way.

If Congress had any backbone, at the hint of this kind of reckless abandon, they should all vote to kill Swampcare and start over. Two branches of government can play Trump’s game. If Trump wants his corporate tax cuts, tariff changes, and his blessed Wall, he will have to get the money and authorization from Congress.

Kill Swampcare and let Trump make the next move. If he takes his ball and goes home, let him be the one to veto the next bill, maybe a repeat of the 2015 AHCRA that actually would have repealed and replaced Obamacare.

We should not accept this unbridled arrogance. Letting Trump play power games in a presidential takeover of the legislative branch is bad government. Nobody ever said Trump would give us good government, but Congress doesn’t have to bow in obsequious acceptance and say “thank you sir, may I have another?”

Call Your Congressman: Tell Him to Step Away From the American Health Care Act

Call your congressman at (202) 224-3121 and tell your congressman to step away from the American Health Care Act. There is absolutely no reason for him to support it today. In fact, there is no reason for it to be voted on today. It is a terrible piece of legislation that will neither reduce the deficit nor lower health care costs in America.

The House Freedom Caucus is standing firm, exposing what a piece of crap this legislation is. But your congressman needs to hear from you.

There are three things the House of Representatives could have done and did not do.

First, the House could have sent the Senate an actual repeal bill and let the chair rule that it was in order under the Byrd rule. That was the easiest and best option and could have gotten it through.

Second, the House could have used their 2015 legislation that they all supported as the framework for the new legislation.

Third, the House could have just passed the 2015 legislation that they all voted for originally.

They could still do one of those three things. It is still possible. They do not have to pass this legislation.

Call your congressman now.

Mary Katharine Ham Destroys ObamaCare Lies

The Hammer

I’ve been a fan of Mary Katharine Ham for years and absolutely love any chance to see her go toe-to-toe with liberals on healthcare. She’s sharp, articulate and knows how to use the medium of TV effectively. In a sharp debate, watching her, on attack or defense, reminds me of Olympic Fencing.

Yesterday morning, Mary Katharine appeared on CNN to discuss the battle to repeal ObamaCare and she lit up show anchor Chris Cuomo. While it’s unclear to me whether she supports the Trump Administration’s current SwampCare effort, she is wholeheartedly opposed to keeping ObamaCare intact.

In her segment with Cuomo, Mary Katharine pushed back hard against the idea that conservative opposition to ObamaCare is about “cheap” issues.

Did Cuomo Call MK “Cheap?”

The beginning of the exchange has drawn a bunch of criticism from people who believed Cuomo was calling Mary Katharine “cheap” but she defended him on twitter a couple times yesterday:

Once she got going, there was no stopping her!

They were not covering all of the things, sometimes including pediatric dental for single men with no children, yes. They were not covering those things. Look, these things bring up the prices. I am a person, single mom of two, who has lost three or four plans since Obamacare passed. I was told I would not; that was a lie. When I said that I would lose my plan, people called me a liar when this was going on. I have had 160 percent increase in my premiums; I was told those would go down, and I have had a 300 percent increase in my deductible. People are getting coverage that they cannot use because it is so expensive. That is something we have to deal with. One of the ways you can deal with that is cutting some of these, quote unquote, essential health benefits because some of them are, indeed, not essential. And you could give people more flexibility to have slightly less expensive and slightly less comprehensive plans, which is what many young people would like to buy.

Watch the entire clip below!

Rep. Massie: Swampcare “Worse Than Obamacare”, Voting “HELL NO”

Libertarian-leaning Republican Congressman from Kentucky Thomas Massie does not appreciate being pressured by the GOP establishment leadership into voting for the Trump/Ryan “Swampcare” bill. In fact, yesterday, he got so fed up, that he announced on Facebook that he was changing his vote on the bill: from “NO” to “HELL NO.”

Representative Massie has been a consistent outspoken opponent of the proposal that would tweak Obamacare. On today’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, he said that Paul Ryan’s bill is “worse than Obamacare.” When he asked about the repercussions of the GOP bill being voted down today, his response was equally as strong: “The consequences of passing this in the House and the Senate and signing it is much worse for the Republican Party than the consequences of this bill going down today. I hope that it goes down today.”

Representative Massie, who referred to the bill as “Obamacare Lite” (we prefer “Swampcare,” but to each their own), is a liberty-loving, gun toting inventor and engineer. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He represents Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District, and was endorsed by both Rand and Ron Paul when he first ran and won election to Congress in 2012. He currently runs a cattle farm, drives a Tesla, and lives with his family in a solar-powered home that he built himself.

Where can we find a few more Thomas Massies?

BREAKING: Vote On “Swampcare” Bill Postponed By Paul Ryan

BREAKING: Due to continued opposition by the conservative House Freedom Caucus, House Speaker Paul Ryan has postponed today’s highly anticipated vote on the bill proposed by the moderate wing of the party that would tweak Obamacare. These conservative legislators insist that the bill does not go far enough, and are upset that the “full repeal” of Obamacare that was promised during the 2016 campaign cycle seems to suddenly be off the table.

The House Freedom Caucus met with President Donald Trump today to discuss the bill and try to arrive at an agreement. However, as things currently stand, no proposal has been presented that comes anywhere near the full repeal that the American People were promised by GOP leadership for the past seven years. The members of the Freedom Caucus remain insistent that a bill that does nothing but tweak the bill in a few minor ways is unacceptable and will not be allowed to go to the Senate for a vote.

House Leadership is currently saying that the vote may happen tomorrow, but that is unlikely given the total lack of any progress so far.

How do you feel about Paul Ryan’s proposed healthcare plan? Do you support the House Freedom Caucus’ efforts? Let us know by sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter and tagging @TheResurgent