With little input by members and virtually no debate, RINOcare passed through the House Committee on the Budget by a narrow 19-17 vote Thursday morning. The three members of the House Freedom Caucus on the committee voted against passage. No other Republicans, despite their public statements about repealing Obamacare, voted against the bill. Had one more GOP member switched their votes, the bill would have been stopped.
The passage of the bill through the committee is a textbook example of ramming legislation through Congress. After perfunctory 10 minute remarks by both the chair and ranking member of the committee., the vote was immediately called with very little input by members of the committee. There was no extended debate on the merits.
The committee has 22 Republicans and 14 Democrats. All Republicans save Dave Brat (R-Va.), Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), and Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) voted yes. Those three Freedom Caucus members voted no. On Monday I highlighted the reasons that four other members of the committee should have joined the Freedom Caucus in voting no.
There are four members, out of the 18, who have been extra vocal in calling for the repeal of, or who’ve fought against specific Obamacare provisions this bill keeps. They are Glenn Grothman, R-Wisc. (F, 44%), Bruce Westerman, R-Ark. (F, 50%), and a pair of Freshman representatives Jodey Arrington, R-Texas (F, 0%), and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. (F,0%). Each of these members has been particularly outspoken on the need to end Obamacare or have voiced concerns about the current RINOcare bill.
When it mattered those four bowed to leadership pressure and voted for a bill that doesn’t repeal Obamacare. Instead, the legislation merely tweaks it around the edges.
Where the bill goes from here is unknown. House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R – N.C. has stated that he believes there are 40 “no” votes on the bill in its current form.
The fact remains, however, that leadership was able to advance the bill at will through committee. Still, the three no votes from the GOP should be applauded. (For more from the author of “These 3 Conservatives Nearly Stopped RINOcare” please click HERE)