The Latest: Speaker shares Trump criticism of Freedom Caucus

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2017 12:14 PM
The Latest: Speaker shares Trump criticism of Freedom Caucus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law (all times local):

12:13 p.m.

Speaker Paul Ryan says he understands and shares President Donald Trump's frustration with the House Freedom Caucus.

Trump attacked the group of conservative lawmakers over Twitter Thursday, saying they "will hurt the entire Republican agenda" and "we must fight them."

Opposition from the Freedom Caucus helped sink major health care legislation in the House.

Ryan tells journalists: "It's very understandable the president is frustrated we haven't gotten to where we need to go, because this is something we all said we would do."

The Wisconsin Republican says he is pushing lawmakers to keep talking and try to reach a consensus on a health bill that could pass — but he declined to commit to another vote, saying he does not want to impose an "artificial timeline."


11:25 a.m.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is criticizing the House speaker for saying the president shouldn't work with Democrats on health care.

Corker tweeted Thursday, "We have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem."

In an interview, Corker said: "It's not the kind of thing the leader, speaker of the House should be saying."

Corker was referring to comments Paul Ryan made to CBS warning against the idea of Donald Trump working with Democrats if Republicans can't revive their health care legislation. Ryan said working with Democrats would not result in conservative solutions.


10:31 a.m.

A House Freedom Caucus member is defending the group's opposition to the failed GOP health care bill. That's after President Donald Trump lashed out at the Republican conservative group Thursday morning.

Jim Jordan of Ohio says, "I respect the president, but our focus is on the legislation."

Trump tweeted that the caucus will hurt the Republican agenda if they don't get on the team fast, and added, "We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"

The caucus contributed to the humiliating failure of the GOP health care bill that would have replaced Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. They complained the bill didn't do enough to get the government out of health care.

Jordan cites polls showing opposition to the bill, saying, "It doesn't change Washington like we told them we were going to change Washington."


9:58 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he doesn't want to see President Donald Trump negotiate with Democrats on health care. But he warns that will be the result if House Republicans can't come together and pass their bill.

Ryan tells "CBS This Morning" that if Trump works with Democrats, they will "try and change Obamacare and that's not, that's hardly a conservative thing."

Ryan insists he's still trying to get the bill passed despite its collapse last week short of votes. The legislation was supposed to make good on seven years of GOP promises to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health law.

Yet there's little evidence that Ryan or other leaders are working seriously to revive the legislation as they move on to other issues like a tax overhaul.


9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is warning conservative lawmakers in the House that a fight is coming if they don't "get on the team, & fast."

Trump tweeted early Thursday, "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"

Trump's efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature health care law fell short last week, after he and House Speaker Paul Ryan failed to convince a number of House lawmakers, including most of the Freedom Caucus, to vote in their favor.

Trump initially blamed Democrats for not supporting the new bill. But he's since criticized the Freedom Caucus for its resistance.