Exclusive – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer: GOP Congressmen Lose Whether AHCA Passes or Fails

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Capitol Hill

The No. 2 House Democrat told Breitbart News late Thursday House Republicans will suffer at the polls no matter how they vote for the American Health Care Act, the health insurance industry rescue program crafted by Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-WI).

“The Republican Party has a bad product and they ought to go back to the drawing board, but I doubt they are going to do that,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D.-MD), who as the Minority Whip is junior only to Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-CA) among House Democrats.

“In my opinion, their members will lose politically, whether it passes or fails,” he said.

In the past, House Republican leaders have reached out to House Democrats, rather than negotiate with conservatives. In the ramp up to the vote on American Health Care Act, Hoyer said there was no outreach about drafting the bill, nor supporting it.

“There was no reaching out as far as I know, certainly not to me, nor has the leader told me told that anybody has reached out to her,” he said.

Hoyer said he was not surprised, because he saw that the House Republican leadership made a decision that they were wanted to pass the American Health Care Act in a partisan way.

“They may have assumed that it was a bill that no Democrat would support–that was correct, but in the past it was different,” he said.

Ryan’s predecessor, Speaker John A. Boehner (R.-OH) was often frustrated by the members of his caucus clamoring to legislate in a partisan fashion, he said. “Boehner said: ‘We can’t do it in a partisan fashion, because we don’t have the votes. We ought to do some reasonable compromise the Democrats will vote for,’–they have not done that.”