After the GOP failed to pass their healthcare bill last week, Republicans are now gearing up for a second attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Tuesday morning, House Republicans held a closed-door meeting to “heal the divisions” caused when party factions couldn’t unify to pass a healthcare bill.
“We are talking about how to get Obamacare repealed and replaced,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk said as he left the meeting.
Speaker Paul Ryan indicated that despite last week’s failed attempt, the GOP could not afford to walk away and allow Obamacare to stay in place as it is on the verge of collapsing.
Lawmakers who attended the meeting indicated that internal differences sunk the bill last week, but indicated that the group held “a good healthy discussion” so that they do not make the same mistakes the second time around.
“There was a unified message that we need to find a solution because a lot of Americans will be hurt unless we repeal the law,” Rep. Austin Scott said. “There is good, honest discussion going on. Good dialogue.”
Playing a major role in getting Obamacare repealed, Rep. Mo Brooks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, indicated his plan to use a legislative tactic that would force a floor vote on simply repealing Obamacare.
Brooks move would require 218 signatures on a discharge petition, but it will force lawmakers to show where they stand on repealing Obamacare.
“We will find out who is truly for repeal of Obamacare and who is not,” Brooks said. “Those that sign … those are the ones that are for repeal of Obamacare.”
Despite President Trump indicating he wants to move on to tax reform, House Republicans spent Monday discussing the best way to grow support and pass a new healthcare bill sooner rather than later.
“I think that the overwhelming response that I heard was a real desire to find a way to get to yes,” sad Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, which played a major role in blocking the bill last week.
Following the meeting, Paul Ryan declined to comment on when the House might set a date on the floor.
“I won’t tell you the timeline because we want to get it right,” Ryan said. “We want to make sure we get it right. We had a very constructive meeting. Some of those in the ‘no’ camp expressed a willingness to get to yes and to make this work. We are going to keep working with each other to get it right.”
“Friday the votes weren’t there,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said after the meeting. “It doesn’t mean we are not going to get there and that is what this conference was about and that is what we are working toward.”
Majority Whip Steve Scalise said the GOP resolve to repeal and replace the law “has never been stronger,” and said the conference “is going to keep working” and “isn’t going to stop until we get it done.”
While GOP lawmakers are keeping most of the details tight lip, it appears that Paul Ryan is making sure the House Freedom Caucus is on board before he announces the bill is ready for a vote again.