(Juliegrace Brukfe, The Daily Caller News Foundation) – House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said he’s ready to get to work on striking a deal on repealing and replacing Obamacare, even if it means delaying Easter recess until they reach a consensus.
“I don’t think we need to go home until we get this done,” he told reporters Tuesday, following a GOP conference meeting focusing on how they should best proceed with heath care reform.
The leadership-backed Obamacare repeal bill was pulled off the floor Friday after it was made clear there were not enough votes for it to pass. Meadows made it clear there were enough members of the powerful conservative group to sink the bill, saying they felt the legislation failed to truly bring down premiums. The measure lost the support of a sizable amount of moderates as a number of concessions were made to get conservatives on board.
Virginia Rep. Dave Brat said Freedom Caucus members are in agreement the Affordable Care Act needs to be repealed, echoing Meadows’ sentiments they should stay as long as it takes to reach a consensus.
“This is big, we want to get to a yes on this — let’s do it,” Brat said. “It (pushing back recess) came up this coming in conference.”
While leadership is hoping to unify the party, a number of critics question whether the HFC is willing to agree to a measure moderates can support and will pass the Senate.
“Does that mean he’s a yes now?” a senior GOP aide told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would like to see a consensus reached before they break for recess.
“I think we should just get it all done before,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Time is of the essence.”
McCarthy said they are still unclear of the timeline on the Obamacare repeal, but it will hit the floor when they have the votes.
Meadows said he’s hopeful they will strike a deal sooner rather than later.
“I think if we are going to get this done, we have to get this done now,” Meadows said of the reconciliation bill. “I think we’ve wanted to be yes from the get go — maybe contrary to some of the reporting that is out there — I can tell you, based on my members and listening to them, there has been and continues to be a real desire to get there to yes — and hopefully we can get there.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday lawmakers are committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare, but doesn’t want to put an “artificial timeline” on achieving their goal.
“This is too important not to get right,” he said.
Meadows said there are currently no meetings scheduled between the House Freedom Caucus with leadership or the administration.
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