Saturday, March 25, 2017

David Haggith — Trump Obamacare Repeal Blew Up Bigly Because of a House Divided Against Itself


David Haggith explains how the three factions of the Congressional GOP could not arrive at compromise and perhaps never will be able to do so.
It is hard to say exactly who was in each group because no vote was taken to put members on record, but this appears to be generally how things fell apart:
1) By far the largest group would have consisted of the house’s largest conservative faction (172 members), known as the Republican Study Committee, probably joined by members of the House Republican Conference who do not identify with any particular faction. I’m talking here about the group that solidly supported President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on the AHCA as originally drafted.
The Republican Study Committee — formed in 1973 to keep an eye on the party’s moderate leadership during the Nixon-Ford years — is the House’s oldest active faction....
2) The smallest, rewest, and most conservative faction of the House Republican Conference, called the “Freedom Caucus,” was established in 2015 to battle then Speaker John Boehner, particularly to fight his approval of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). These members of congress can be seen as the present rabble rousers because this is the faction that was willing to shut down the government in the original fight against Obamacare. ...
3) A larger faction of the House Republican Conference consists of about fifty people, who are the left-most Republicans in the House of Representatives (meaning only that they are moderates since no one in the Republican party is a leftist). This group was established in 1994 as the “Tuesday Group” when Republicans took control of the House under the more conservative leadership of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich rallied Republicans around his Contract with America. The Tuesday Group formed to resist Gingrich’s more conservative positioning of the Republican party.
The actual battle went like this: Unquestionably, those aligned with the Freedom Caucus felt the original AHCA bill, as proposed by Paul Ryan, did not go far enough in repealing Obamacare. Therefore, the group of Republicans who were with Trump and Ryan modified the bill to strip out more of Obamacare by taking down some of its Medicaid provisions and other benefits in order go gain some of the more conservative votes. That resulted in those aligned with the Tuesday Group (the most moderate Republicans) feeling the bill now went further right than they could tolerate. As a result, the Republicans lost some moderate votes when they compromised to pick up more conservative votes, and they never gained all of the conservative votes. So, they could not find a majority that could agree on any bill, and they had already thumbed their noses at Democrats completely, so they certainly wouldn’t get any help there....

14 comments:

Schofield said...

Yes but they had seven years to iron all these differences out why during the Presidential election did Trump hammer on about the GOP getting rid of Obamacare when there was no real possibility of doing so because of factional division within the GOP? Is Trump going to carry on like this during his presidency shooting his mouth off to no practical end result simply because he he's a square peg in a round hole and should really have had a career as a stand-up comedian?

Noah Way said...

Discussing factionalism in the GOP is irrelevent when the composition of government does not in any way reflect the composition of voters. 42% of voters are Independent, 34% are Democrats, and 26% are republican.

Ranting and raving about tRump ignores the underlying and infinitely larger problem: the absolute dominance of wealth (corporate and personal) in government.

Tom Hickey said...

Yes but they had seven years to iron all these differences out why during the Presidential election did Trump hammer on about the GOP getting rid of Obamacare when there was no real possibility of doing so because of factional division within the GOP? Is Trump going to carry on like this during his presidency shooting his mouth off to no practical end result simply because he he's a square peg in a round hole and should really have had a career as a stand-up comedian?

Candidates regularly lay out their policy positions and then try to use their political capital to meet their promises by making deals with the various factions in the legislature in their own party and the opposition party. The way congress critters vote affects their standing in the next election. So it is politically risky to oppose a popular president.

The political losers in this debacle are chiefly the establishment Republicans that lined up behind Paul Ryan. They are likely to face primary challenges in 2018, and Ryan may even lose the speakership over it.

It's not Trump who is the big loser here although he took a hit and it cost him political capital.

Matt Franko said...

All three factions share a belief of the "we're out of money!" falsehood...

Matt Franko said...

So (to us) they are not 3 separate factions...

Tom Hickey said...

I didn't mean to suggest that DJT is a popular president. He is not. I was just describing how US politics works.
Trump's political capital is meagre because of his lack of national support. So there isn't great political risk for members of his party to oppose him. He doesn't command a lot of leverage, so it's going to be difficult for him to build a coalition to pass his agenda. That's probably why Paul Ryan and his cohort of establishment Republicans tried to jam a bill though that alienated a lot of the Trump faction, even though DJT got behind the bill.

I think that passage of the bill might have hurt Trump more than its failure. A lot of his supporters among the public would have jumped ship at that, viewing it as a betrayal. His support for it reduced his standing with them.

Penguin pop said...

Trump is funny and for reasons he doesn't even understand. That's all he's good at. This whole fiasco showed he's not as good at striking deals after all. GOP is pathetic in any case, but it was a good thing that Paul Ryan got destroyed by this. I've always hated that sniveling little Ayn Rand coward.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Deal making is art rather than science. Trump's, "The Art Of The Deal", is about not making deals and thus walking away too. Anyone who thinks Trump was the loser in the Obamacare repeal attempt better not get too cocky. That's simply fake news spin. The real loser in all this was Paul Ryan (Trey Gowdy could be a big winner). Anyone who thinks Obamacare will survive will be disappointed too. Trump, the 4D chess master is reloading for the REAL DEAL. Obamacare is all but dead. That's the no spin reality in the long pull.

Tom Hickey said...

All three factions share a belief of the "we're out of money!" falsehood...

AKA "sound finance."

Penguin pop said...

" Anyone who thinks Trump was the loser in the Obamacare repeal attempt better not get too cocky. That's simply fake news spin. The real loser in all this was Paul Ryan (Trey Gowdy could be a big winner). Anyone who thinks Obamacare will survive will be disappointed too. Trump, the 4D chess master is reloading for the REAL DEAL. Obamacare is all but dead. That's the no spin reality in the long pull."

I don't think anyone's denying that this will pop up again as an issue in the future in some form. What a lot of people are pissed about is why this guy keeps listening to morons like Paul Ryan who are completely antithetical to all the things he promised on the campaign trail even now. Mike has made these points plenty of times as well. If this really is some kind of grand strategy, I'd like to see how this will play out in the end. I also wanted to give him a chance and my patience ran out a while ago. Having loons like Rick Mulvaney part of your team seems completely counterproductive to me.

Greg said...

@Mal

EVERYTHING is dead in the long pull! WTF does that even mean in this context?

No Obamacare supporters hope it stands as is forever. Your BFF 4D chess player didn't walk away from anything. He was never in it. Yes this makes the other republicans look worse but if you think Trump is unaffected you are delusional

He may very well pull something out of his arse to surprise us all but it ain't cuz he already knows what it is. He is man without a plan except for planning on getting back at his detractors. That's been his MO from day one. He moves along and finds cracks to slip through and when something works he'll say " See this was my plan all along". Which will be complete BS

Bob said...

Big big tax cuts for the rich is Trump's master plan. It will be great. You'll love it.

Matt Franko said...

Mal ACA might not turn out as bad a "total disaster!" as he appears to think...

Folks are going to lose the subsidy or lose their insurance and just pay the fine to the IRS ...

I think then the reimbursement for care for that type of person is thru some sort of expanded Medicaid which is a form of 'single payer'... and an automatic appropriation so Congress doesn't have any control over the macro effects ...

It might work .... only limited by the fact that the single payer thinks they are "out of money!" which would apply to Trumpcare too so that part of it is a wash...

Penguin pop said...

"Big big tax cuts for the rich is Trump's master plan. It will be great. You'll love it."

He's gonna do BIG BIG THINGS, BIG BIG THINGS.

H/t to Mike Norman for talking like that in some of his videos. ;)