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Another Republican drops out of the House Freedom Caucus

Members of the House Freedom Caucus are seen in a meeting to discuss their vote on the American Health Care Act. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) is the second Republican to leave the caucus. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Another Republican has left the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) has decided to leave the conservative faction, Jimmy Milstead, a spokesman for Babin  told the Hill during an interview Thursday.

Babin is leaving just one month after the majority of the group's members opposed the House GOP leadership's American Health Care Act, the legislation designed to repeal and replace Obamacare. The bill, which had President Donald Trump's backing, was introduced but never came up for a vote because Republicans didn't have enough support get it through the House.

“When President Obama came to office, we had to try to stop his socialist agenda," Babin told Fox Business, the Hill reported. "And I thought the Freedom Caucus was a great place to do that."

However, now that there's a Republican in the White House, Babin doesn't feel the same urgency as during the Obama years.

"Now, we have the opportunity of a lifetime with President Trump in there and his conservative agenda," Babin said. "We have control of both houses of Congress, so we must make the best use of our opportunity."

The Texan is the second Republican congressman to leave the caucus. Exactly one month ago, Texas Rep. Ted Poe, who supported the AHCA, resigned from the caucus, saying that some members of the Freedom Caucus would "vote no against the Ten Commandments if it came up for a vote.”

Though GOP leaders failed to repeal and replace Obamacare on the first go-round, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and moderate Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) reportedly agreed on an amendment to the health care legislation this week that would allow states to opt out of requiring health insurance providers from covering what the government says each plan has to.

The Meadows-MacArthur amendment would also allow states to opt out of the pre-existing condition provision of Obamacare, which prevents health insurance companies from charging sick people more for coverage.

It's still unclear whether this amendment would garner enough votes to pass out of the lower chamber and into the Senate, where it's likely to face yet another uphill climb.

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