As was pointed out by Joe Cunningham earlier, former Breitbart CEO, current White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, thought he would bark out demands and the House Freedom Caucus would fall in line.
Congress isn’t Breitbart, dude.
Add to that a report from the New York Times that Bannon sought to use the AHCA vote as a means of creating an “enemies list.”
A Hill GOP aide involved in last-minute negotiations told the Times that Bannon and White House legislative affairs director Marc Short pressured the president to let the House vote on the ObamaCare replacement bill.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), however, strongly advised Trump against letting the bill go to a public vote on Friday, as several dozen Republicans remained opposed to the legislation.
Ryan’s concern was that the debacle could harm the Republican majority in the 2018 midterms.
He also doesn’t want to rankle those Republicans they’re hoping to pull on board for legislative moves in the future, such as raising the debt ceiling.
West Wing aides told the newspaper that the White House was privately stunned that the Speaker was unable to master the politics of the GOP conference.
Publicly, Trump and the White House press secretary Sean Spicer expressed confidence in Ryan, stating that the administration is fully behind the Republican House leader.
That means Ryan has a big, fat bullseye on his back.
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