The House Freedom Caucus Won't Be Bullied

The House Freedom Caucus have proven to be fearless in the face of President Trump’s threats.

First, when Trump and his chief strategist, Steve Bannon reportedly tried to bully them into supporting the disastrous Obamacare replacement bill, they refused, believing the bill to be only a dust-off of the original, and that it didn’t go far enough to lower premiums for consumers.

Trump’s threats of primarying any of those lawmakers that stood against the bill fell pretty flat, considering that most of them proved far more popular in their voting districts than he was in the 2016 election.

Now, as Trump has put a bullseye on HFC members through his Twitter rants, they’re hitting back.

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday, lashing out at three members of the Freedom Caucus over healthcare — Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) — and threatening to back primary challenges against caucus members in 2018.

If they would get on board, Trump wrote, “we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts & reform.” Trump asked where the trio of lawmaker had gone.

The direct response to the president, by a mode he could understand – tweets – did not disappoint.

Nice.

Freedom Caucus members argued that the American Health Care Act didn’t go far enough. They wanted a faster rollback of Medicaid expansion and argued that the proposed tax credits to help purchase insurance was a new government entitlement.

Reps. Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and Raúl Labrador have all responded individually to Trump’s Twitter tirades.

Trump has invested a lot of time and effort into alienating the very conservative base he will need to win reelection in 2020, if that is his goal.

I’d say he’s put more effort into that than he put into seeing his repeal bill could get the support it needed to survive.