If The ACHA Fails To Pass, The House Freedom Caucus Is Not To Blame

Are we in a time warp? Is it 2013? I thought all of the attacks on conservative members of Congress would die off the moment the GOP achieved a full majority in government.

Do you remember the lectures from Republicans who “know how to govern” to the “purity” Republicans? I sure do.

In 2011 it went something like this: “We only have the House. We cannot enact conservative legislation with just the House.”

That was the argument heard until 2014 when the Republicans won control of the Senate. Then it went something like this: “We have the House and Senate, but there is a Democrat in the White House. We cannot enact conservative legislation with just the House and Senate. We need a Republican in the White House.”

Fast forward to 2017. The GOP controls the House. The GOP controls the Senate. There is a Republican (for the most part) in the White House.

People are pointing fingers at Mark Meadows and other members of the Freedom Caucus because they think the current ACHA bill is garbage. They’re right. It is garbage, and everybody knows it. That’s not the HFC’s fault. That’s the fault of leadership and the White House not formulating a coherent plan to get this done. I like and respect Paul Ryan a great deal, but the legislation is poorly handled and has been since day one.

I had somebody say to me that by going full repeal on Obamacare now, the Republicans are risking their majority because moderate Republicans may lose their seats as a result and if so, cannot enact conservative legislation. It’s a remarkable thing to say. So Republicans couldn’t pass conservative legislation because they never held a majority. But they can’t enact conservative legislation now because if they do so, they’ll lose their majority and therefore, won’t be able to enact conservative legislation.

That is insane. 

I get that some members are in a precarious position. I argued last year that refusing small wins when not in the majority is what helped bring about the rise of Donald Trump.

That said, now that the GOP has the majority they have sought since 2010, they can’t go back on their word. It’s one thing not to take wins where they can get them. It’s quite another to break promises they’ve made for years.