Members of the House Freedom Caucus pledged to stick together on opposing the GOP healthcare replacement bill, leading to the legislation's implosion, Politico reports.
The American Healthcare Act was pulled from a floor vote Friday because it didn't have enough votes despite a strong push from President Donald Trump and long hours behind the scenes to make changes to the legislation by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The idea was set forth by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the Vice Chairman of the Freedom Caucus.
"They [were] basically saying, 'We're going to find all the guys who support it, and we're all going to hold hands and be a 'no' on something,'" a senior Republican source told Politico. "It's ironic because these are the guys who say, 'I don't turn my voting card over to leadership. I am the only guy who controls my voting card.' But then they do this stuff, where they say, 'I can't because my group is a no.'"
The group opposed the bill because they didn’t trust Ryan – he reportedly didn't listen to their concerns – and because it wasn't conservative enough. Sticking together was key.
"They informally said: 'Let’s stick together,'" said one Freedom Caucus source who described the strategy. "Whenever someone had a conversation with a whip or a member of the leadership team, or there was a discussion with White House staff, there was immediate discussion with the group, whether it was via telephone or a ton of group meetings."
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