House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and other members of the Freedom Caucus filed a discharge petition on Friday to repeal Obamacare.
The Freedom Caucus filed a discharge petition a few weeks ago that would put a clean repeal bill of Obamacare before the House floor. Now that the Freedom Caucus put the bill on the House floor on Friday, conservative members can start gathering the necessary signatures to force the House to vote on the legislation. The discharge petition would require 218 signatures from members of Congress to force the House to vote on the bill.
The legislation drafted by Rep. Jordan mirrors the clean repeal bill of Obamacare in 2015, which passed the House and the Senate and would have become law if there were a Republican in the White House. In the following weeks, the Freedom Caucus will petition fellow members of the House to sign the petition. The legislation proposed by the Freedom Caucus would repeal most of Obamacare by the end of 2018, allowing lawmakers ample time to draft a free-market alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows charged, “It’s critical that we keep our promise to the American people and repeal Obamacare and replace it with a policy that works for American families. We cannot drag this process out any longer. This bill – with a two-year delay on implementation of repeal – will force Congress to come together on a replacement bill. President Trump is eager to sign repeal and replace, it’s time we get to work and send both to his desk.”
Meadows previously explained to Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that Rep. Tom Garrett’s discharge petition would prevent House leadership, Democrats, or moderates from adding amendments to water down the Obamacare repeal bill. The House previously used a discharge petition to revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank four months after its charter expires. Meadows told Breitbart News:
It’s actually a little more nuanced approach, this is actually addressing a discharge petition with a rule and it allows us to control the process where we do not receive amendments to the 2015 bill that would water it down or allow for a poison pill amendment. We’ve used this as a tool to not only say we want the same bill as the one that we voted on in 2015 but unlike the Export-Import debate this doesn’t require Democrats to discharge it. Obviously, we have 242 Republican members of the House so all we have to do is sign on without a single Democrat to force action on the House floor.
If we do not there will not only be political consequences of not doing what we said we would do but also the consequences of Obamacare continuing to implode, and premiums continuing to go up and providers leaving states, and just sitting back and doing nothing is not an option.
The Freedom Caucus petition has already gained traction. Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-NC) announced his support for the Freedom Caucus’ discharge petition. Walker said, “Republicans already sent this bill to the president in 2016, and should do it again. The only thing that changed since then is that with Donald Trump as president, this bill would actually be signed into law. This repeal should be the bare minimum Republicans pass on Obamacare as it fulfills the promise we all made to repeal Obamacare. I look forward to signing this petition on the House Floor when we return from recess.”
Rep. Jordan, the former Freedom Caucus chairman, cheered Walker’s support for the discharge petition. In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Rep. Jordan said, “I appreciate Chairman Walker’s support for the Freedom Caucus’ effort to keep our word to the American people.”
We must keep our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare. The 1st step is to send to @POTUS Trump's desk the same bill we sent to Obama's.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 11, 2017
— House Freedom Caucus (@freedomcaucus) August 11, 2017