A drowning sense of frustration and disappointment washed over Republicans in the Capitol Building Friday after failing to pass any sort of repeal to Obamacare this week, but one group — the archconservatives in the House Freedom Caucus — was exceptionally optimistic.
Counterintuitively, the Senate’s failure to pass a “skinny repeal” appeared to be the best possible outcome for the Freedom Caucus. They are still holding on to a lasting hope that in the ideological war between the stubborn House conservatives and stubborn Senate moderates, the Freedom Caucus can win out.
So on Friday morning, Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), was already talking about new health bills. Freedom Caucus member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called for yet another push on clean repeal, even though it failed to pass the Senate by a whopping seven Republican votes just this week. His colleague Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said the Senate should have just continued negotiating instead of trying to pass the skinny repeal in the first place.
“To suggest that we have exhausted our legislative options is to ignore what has actually been happening over the past couple of days,” Meadows said. “I can tell you behind the scenes in the upper chamber there has been meaningful dialogue between people that normally don’t work together.”
It’s clear the most conservative faction of the Republican Party — the most desperate to repeal Obamacare — is posturing for yet another health care show. How they plan to thread the needle between a growing desire for bipartisanship and their vision for a conservative health plan remains to be seen