Despite Donald Trump’s “hard sell” to Congress over the upcoming vote for the American Health Care Act, things aren’t looking too good for Trumpcare. After all, the president’s method of deal making involved threatening GOP congressman ahead of the 2018 midterms — resulting in new Koch brothers money levied against the bill’s passing. So Trump met with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday to try and smooth things over while retaining as many votes for the ACHA as possible. Apparently, this didn’t work either.
According to the Associated Press, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) told reporters there was “no deal” following his conservative group’s meeting with Trump. Not because the three dozen members of the caucus are completely unhappy with the ACHA as-is, of course, but rather since they don’t believe the current bill goes far enough to repeal Obamacare. As a result, at least two-thirds of the group are opposed to the legislation. As one anonymous Republican lawmaker told CNN, “This bill is collapsing.”
As news of Meadows’ comments reached the White House Press Briefing, Hallie Jackson of NBC News asked Sean Spicer if Trump would “acknowledge that this bill appears to be in trouble.” In response, Spicer said “it’s not a question of trouble” since “there’s no deal,” as the White House “[wasn’t] asking for a deal.” Meanwhile, the administration released an official statement regarding the meeting, which described it as “productive”:
By CNN’s count Thursday morning, before the meeting, possibly 29 House Republicans are opposed to the Trumpcare bill. 25 of those have “flat-out” declared their intention to vote against the AHCA, whereas another four have suggested they will probably vote no. A minimum of 216 votes is required by the GOP-controlled House to pass the bill, and the latest tally from CNN suggests exactly 216 Republicans will vote yes.