Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) resigned from the House Freedom Caucus Sunday, citing his dissatisfaction with the group and their unwillingness to repeal Obamacare.
The Freedom Caucus is a group of staunch conservative lawmakers who recently blocked President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill, calling it “Obamacare Lite.”
On CNN’s “New Day” Monday morning, Poe said that the conservative caucus “continues to be the opposition caucus against anything in the Republican Party.”
“There’s nothing that could be added to the bill that the Freedom Caucus would ever vote yes on,” Poe said. “I got the opinion that there are some members of the Freedom Caucus — they’d vote no against the Ten Commandments if it came up for a vote.”
— New Day (@NewDay) March 27, 2017
Poe conceded that the AHCA was “not a perfect bill,” but added that Republicans have “promised for years” that they would repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Poe made it very clear that Republicans promised the American people they would repeal Obama’s disastrous healthcare plan and they had the chance to do so last week.
“We voted 60 times to repeal Obamacare,” Poe said. “Then when it came down to repealing it, when it actually counted, people just said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to vote to repeal the bill.'”
“The president, Speaker [Paul] Ryan came to the Freedom Caucus and made some changes that we wanted several times. But no matter what changes were made, the goal post kept getting moved and at the end of the day no was the answer. And sometimes you are going to have to say yes.”
Republican leaders tried very hard to sway the House Freedom Caucus members by altering the ACA’s so-called essential health benefits, which requires all insurers to cover some services — including hospitalization, basic outpatient care, and emergency room visits.
Under the GOP healthcare bill, states would have had the power to decide which services constituted essential health benefits.
After days of build-up and discussion, the bill was pulled when it became clear there were not enough votes to pass it Friday afternoon.
Poe concluded his interview adding that he believes the Freedom Caucus has shifted from its original goals.
“[It] has always been the opposition, mainly opposition of the liberal agenda,” he said.
“Now that we are in power, the Republicans, it continues to be the opposition party in the Republican Party.”