HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Freedom Caucus' Jordan: End ObamaCare blaming, ‘Let’s get to work’

Founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus weighs in on 'Fox News Sunday'

 

House Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan tried Sunday to end the blame being cast upon his group and others for Republicans’ failed ObamaCare overhaul bill, saying, “Let’s get to work.”

“Instead of doing the blame game, let’s get to work,” Jordan, R-Ohio, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Let’s do the responsible thing. Let’s get back to work and do what we told the voters we were going to do.”

Much of the blame has been directed at the conservative group and its roughly 35 members, after House Speaker Paul Ryan realized that he didn’t have enough support for the bill in the GOP-led chamber and canceled the final vote Friday.

However, practically everybody in official Washington is being accused of being at fault -- from the caucus for its ideological purity, to Ryan for his inability to get the votes to President Trump for failing to deliver with his vaunted deal-making skills.

Ryan purportedly needed about 20 more votes, mostly from Freedom Caucus members and a handful of GOP House moderates.

The rift led Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to resign Sunday from the caucus. 

"To deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions  to move this country forward," Poe said through his congressional office.

"Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead."

Poe intended to vote in favor of the bill and personally told Trump last week that he would support the measure.

None of the chamber’s 193 Democrats supported dismantling President Obama’s signature 2010 health care law, which is struggling under increasing costs and fewer insurance policy choices for Americans.

Jordan argued Sunday that the bill lost on its shortcomings, not over ideology, with just 17 percent of Americans approving of the measure, crafted by Ryan, R-Wis., and his leadership team.

“Maybe the fact that we opposed it did the country a favor because this bill didn’t repeal ObamCare,” he said. “This bill didn’t do what we told the American people we were going to do.”

He argued fiscal conservatives want a bill that “brings back” affordable insurance for their voters and all Americans through a market-based, not government-run, approach.

“Not some one-size-fits-all mandate from Washington,” said Jordan, whose caucus backed a plan by South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Republicans. “That’s what our plan would have accomplished.”

He also made clear that conservatives will hold Trump and Ryan to the same standards moving forward on such issues of tax reform and building the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

“Let’s make sure we actually secure the border, build the wall, like we told the American people we were going to,” he said. “That’s what the Freedom Caucus was created to do -- fight for those simple principles.”

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.