House Freedom Caucus must 'get on the team'

President Donald Trump awaits the arrival of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi at the White House in Washington. Trump campaigned as an outsider celebrating his lack of political experience by selling himself as a dealmak

In 2015, a group of conservative lawmakers decided that the original conservative caucus in the House, the Republican Study Committee, had gotten too big and wasn't conservative enough, so they broke off and formed the Freedom Caucus. "The president is committed to going down the path he is", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Appearing on Fox News Thursday, Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan (R-OH) said the group would not back down following the Trump Tweet.

Earlier on Thursday Trump again attacked the caucus, tweeting, "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast". More than two dozen members of the caucus reportedly united to say they would not support the bill prior to a vote being taken last week. "Nearly everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment.", tweeted Congressman Justin Amash, a member of the Freedom Caucus. "They weren't going to give us a single vote, so it's a very hard thing to do".

Over the past week, however, his attitude has shifted.

Thomas Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch - a conservative legal advocacy group that successfully sued the Obama administration for the release of Hillary Clinton's State Department emails - made a pointed pitch for the release of all documents pertaining to the Russian Federation controversy, according to people who attended the session in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. Poe told Politico that the Freedom Caucus' strategy on the issue "hurt their credibility".

If they choose to, the Freedom Caucus could make Trump's life hard in upcoming budget and tax debates.

Like others, he noted that that plan saved little money, didn't lower insurance premiums, and didn't fully repeal Obamacare as Trump and other Republicans promised. "No shame, Mr President. Nearly everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment", the Michigan Republican, tweeted.


The focus this morning was on Russian disinformation tactics, with one expert testifying the practices continued post-election, with Russian-directed social media campaigns targeting House Speaker Paul Ryan over the failure of health care reform.

"In my district, we're very conservative so If he gets me out of office, he's going to get someone more conservative than me", DesJarlais said. "That's such an easy one".

This set off its own series of tremors in Washington politics.

"Because we've all been promising, Democrat, Republican, we've all been promising that to the American people", Trump said.

"I don't want that to happen", he said. So I'm disappointed. I'm a little surprised I could tell you. Bob Corker of Tennessee, further showcasing the GOP's intraparty divisions.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters, "I understand the president's frustration", adding that he shared the frustration.

Traditional partisan battle lines may at least temporarily re-emerge next week, when the Senate votes on seating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. In the end, about a dozen mainstream Republicans and the majority of the Freedom Caucus said they wouldn't back the bill.

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