Conservative political analyst Brit Hume described the failure of the American Health Care Bill as "spectacular," and said the damage will be long-lasting to President Donald Trump's agenda.
"The damage from this action on Friday," Hume explained on Fox News, "and the failure of this bill to pass is likely to be long-lasting for a couple of reasons."
"One of the things this bill would have done," he explained, "had they managed to pass it and eventually get it through the Senate, was that it would have created some budget space, which is under Congresses arcane budget rules necessary when you're trying to legislate on taxes, which is supposed to be the next thing up.
"This bill had some budget savings in it, which were significant enough to make it much easier to do tax reform," he continued, "because the worry about tax reform always is you're going to reduce some taxes and you're gonna try to come out in such a way that you don't add to the deficit. That's hard to do. If you have some budget savings as the result of another bill as this was, it makes the job much easier."
Hume also heaped some criticism on the Freedom Caucus for defying the bill, describing them as a group "that seems determined to say no to almost anything, which has been true for some years, I might add."
Hume said that they revealed themselves to be "not a dependable ally," which would make things harder for Trump.
"When you do tax reform, you're gonna gore some oxe[n]," he explained. "They're gonna be special interest groups that are going to lose their tax breaks. And they're gonna lobby Washington to beat the band. And on top of that, of course, is the fact that you're not gonna get much, if any, Democratic support. So you gotta kind of try to this with Republican votes only."
Hume went on to describe just how bad the failure was for Trump.
"Well, I'm trying to think of a time when a president with his first item on his agenda, the top item on the agenda has failed this spectacularly, and this early, and I frankly can't think of one. I think that it's almost unprecedented."
[graphiq id="lG8MNHTbgkl" title="Approval of the AHCA" width="600" height="673" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/lG8MNHTbgkl" ]
He praised the president, however, for grasping how difficult it was to reform health care, and his wisdom in blaming the right people as Hume saw it — the Democrats and the Freedom Caucus.
Hume is likely referencing the remarks Trump made soon after the failure where he said he did not blame Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), but instead blamed Democrats and the Freedom Caucus. Democrats say they are willing to work with the president on fixing Obamacare, but not repealing it. Trump ally Newt Gingrich, among others, has put the blame squarely on Ryan and the GOP leadership.