Wednesday's HOT MIC
A war among Republican moderates belonging to the Tuesday Group may lead to the ouster of one of its leaders. Rep. Tom MacArthur negotiated a compromise on the health care bill with members of the conservative Freedom Caucus -- even after being told not to by members of the group.
Apparently, negotiating with the "opposition" -- even among moderates who supposedly favor negotiating with Democrats -- can be detrimental to your standing.
During a recent closed-door meeting, Tuesday Group lawmakers warned MacArthur not to negotiate with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) amid an impasse over the health bill; they were worried moderates would be blamed if a deal brought conservative holdouts on board the bill.
But MacArthur pressed forward anyway and cut a deal with Meadows, although he said he was only negotiating for himself and not the larger Tuesday Group.
"I think [MacArthur] overstepped his bounds," the Tuesday Group lawmaker said.
MacArthur's compromise would allow states to apply for waivers from some ObamaCare requirements, a move that is seen as a concession to Freedom Caucus conservatives.
No jokes about the Tuesday Group meeting in an elevator of a phone booth, please. They are very sensitive about that sort of thing.
I agree with most who believe the Trump bill doesn't "reform" much of Obamacare, and keeps too many parts of it intact. But it may be a political necessity for President Trump to get it passed. It's encouraging to me that Trump took a personal hand in the negotiations over this $8 billion rider. It shows he's engaged and recognizes what's important to his presidency.
Steve thinks the money is "ransom" but, as a practical matter, I would look upon it as a down payment for a successful first term.