House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 does not and will not have 218 votes—the requisite number to pass the House of Representatives—since the House Freedom Caucus’ official position is lined up against the bill, Freedom Caucus sources tell Breitbart News.
A member of the House Freedom Caucus tells Breitbart News that is an official position of the House Freedom Caucus is against the earlier version of the bill—a leaked draft—but also formally for the full repeal bill and then a replacement bill from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). That position has not changed nor it is expected to at any point between now and if and when leadership attempts to ram this bill through the House, this member added. Also, for the House Freedom Caucus to take an official position—which again binds its members to vote a certain way in the House, meaning that as a bloc the Freedom Caucus is expected not to vote for this bill—it requires 80 percent of its membership to back the official position. That means, given that there are a few more than 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus, there are definitely well more than 30 members who voted internally to take that position in the Freedom Caucus—and it appears as though the Freedom Caucus’ 40 plus members are completely united in support of this position.
While technically the House Freedom Caucus has not yet taken an official position on this bill, the official position it has taken on healthcare in favor of real full repeal and then the Paul bill precludes members from voting for this bill—unless something changes down the road, which it is not expected to.
“Our members are united in opposition,” a House Freedom Caucus source told Breitbart News. “If they brought it up for a vote today it’d fail. Our group is united in the belief that this is the moment the freedom caucus exists for — to block this monstrosity and protect the POTUS from walking into an electoral disaster in 2020 because of it.”
Simply doing vote math, Republicans need 218 votes to pass any bill out of the House of Representatives. There are more than 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus. With only 237 Republicans comprising the majority in the House, and 193 Democrats with 5 vacancies, Republicans cannot afford to lose approximately 20 votes depending on those vacancies and absences. No Democrats are expected to vote for the bill.
If the vote fails, as it is expected to at this time, then Ryan will be in serious trouble in terms of his credibility. He has repeatedly publicly stated that he will be able to deliver 218 votes for this Obamacare 2.0 legislation, “The American Health Care Act,” at multiple press conferences over the past few days. Ryan’s bold promise to deliver the votes for this bill no matter what is a risky move, with at least more than 40 Republicans against it when he can only afford to lose less than 20, since twisting more than 20 arms is a tough thing to do on an issue this important. It remains to be seen what will happen next, but top conservatives are already calling on Ryan to withdraw Obamacare 2.0 and go in a different direction than this way before things get worse. A failure by Ryan would be especially embarrassing for Republicans, including to President Donald Trump.