Report: Trump threatens to primary any conservative who opposes health care replacement bill

Report: Trump threatens to primary any conservative who opposes health care replacement bill
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the House Deputy Whip team at the East Room of the White House March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump met with the House Deputy Whip team to discuss the new House Republican Healthcare Bill. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is threatening to support primary candidates of any Republican congressman who doesn’t sign off on the GOP’s health care replacement plan.

According to the Washington Examiner, Trump made the threat earlier this week during a meeting with House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other GOP whips who are responsible for ensuring the GOP’s health care replacement plan receives the 218 votes it needs to pass in the House of Representatives.

So far, most House conservatives have come out to oppose the reform bill, including the 29-member House Freedom Caucus, which is led by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the founding member of the caucus, has been outspoken in his opposition to the reform bill.

Jordan told CNN Thursday that House conservatives “want to help the President do what we told the voters we were going to do. We told them we would repeal Obamacare.”

“This bill that the House leadership has brought forward is not that,” Jordan said. “It says we’re going to repeal Obamacare, but we’re going to keep Medicaid expansion and we’re going to extend it. It says we’re going to repeal Obamacare, but we’re going to keep some of the tax increases. That’s not what we told the voters we were going to do. Let’s repeal it, let’s repeal it all.”

“Let’s do the right thing and let’s put together the right kind of legislation that accomplishes what we all told the voters we were going to do,” Jordan explained in that interview.

Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), another top House conservative, explained on “Fox and Friends Weekend” Saturday that if Trump would listen to the concerns of House conservatives then he would understand that the GOP health care replacement plan is not good and simply just a watered down version of Obamacare.

Still, some of the most vulnerable congressman could be those from districts that Trump easily won last year, including Meadows’ western N.C. district.

More from the Examiner:

If negotiations don’t reach fruition as the bill readies for a floor vote, Republican insiders said, watch Trump’s tweets and travel schedule for signs that he’s dispensed with the carrots and brought out the stick to try to get wayward members on board.

Party insiders say the president at that point could choose to make an example of one or two resistant Republicans to send a message.

In addition to the threats to congressmen, Trump met with a group of conservative organizations on Wednesday — Heritage Foundation, Club for Growth, Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity — and scolded them for being critical of the health care reform bill, which they have labeled “Obamacare Lite.”

Those organizations argue that the GOP’s replacement plan doesn’t go far enough in unwinding Obamacare, nor does it implement a market-based solution, something Trump promised on the campaign trail last year.

Trump is slated to host an event in Nashville next week to begin selling the health care reform bill to Americans.

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