Philadelphia (CBS) – Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the GOP health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act does not have the votes necessary to pass in the House of Representatives because of fierce conservative opposition to the language of the law and despite a strong push in favor by both President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leadership.
“I think, frankly, right now that the votes are short. One of the things I learned a long time ago is, typically, when you hear leadership say they have votes, that typically means they don’t. We’ll see,” Jordan said. “There’s going to be a lot of debate and discussion and, frankly, the White House has been helpful. The White House has been willing to reach out and talk with us. We’ve had meetings with the vice president, with the secretary, with the budget director and with the president, himself. I appreciate that fact. I just think that the speaker’s plan, it doesn’t accomplish what the voters sent us here to accomplish. That is why we are opposed to it.”
Jordan believes that, since so many in his party are resisting this measure, Republicans should focus on repealing the law now and then begin work on replacing Obamacare.
“I’d be for the replace any time we can pass it. If we could pass it yesterday, I’m for that, but under the reconciliation rules, some of the elements of replace can’t go into the 51-vote bill that we’re working on now. They have to go into the bill that would require the 60-vote hurdle in the Senate, so let’s do what we did before, which is the clean repeal. Let’s repeal it via the 51-vote threshold, which we did back at the end of 2015. Let’s do that same piece of legislation. Let’s send that to President Trump’s desk. That’s something we all agreed on,” Jordan explained.
He, along with many others in the House Freedom Caucus, would like to the see the process re-booted and a bill emerge that is more acceptable to the more conservative wing of the party.
“There’s a reason why every major conservative organization in the country is opposed the speaker’s bill,” he said. “There’s a reason why so many conservative health care policy experts are opposed to the bill and there’s a reason why five conservative senators and a bunch of Freedom Caucus members and other conservatives in the House are opposed to the bill, because it doesn’t do what we said we would do. That should tell voters something, tell the American people something. This bill has huge problems and needs change before we should pass it.”