I would have put the word “risky” in quotes in the headline. Shoot, what isn’t risky in Washington?
The congressional conservatarian wing is asserting itself with Trump. It does not like Obamacare-lite. Steve Bannon understands this wing and why it is so important to give the members of this group a seat at the table. Can Mr. Bannon broker a deal? Probably.
The alliance with the White House has emboldened the Freedom Caucus. The group is now aiming to strike its own “deal” with moderates — independent of the efforts of GOP leaders. In fact, with the exception of one conversation with Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Meadows told reporters Wednesday evening that he had not spoken to GOP leaders in two weeks. He said he talks to the White House almost daily.
The end-run around House leaders has had mixed success. The White House isn’t listening to the Freedom Caucus’ plea to repeal Obamacare now and replace it later, or their request to axe health care tax credits essential to the Ryan plan. But Trump pressed Ryan Tuesday night to amend his bill to placate conservatives, something the far right* has been imploring the White House to do for weeks.
Meadows had given the White House a list of a half-dozen “improvements” that the group wants to be made to the bill.
*There probably isn’t a “far right” member in the Freedom Caucus. Right yes. Conservative? Yes. The odd libertarian? Yes. “Far Right?” What does that even mean? Is being for free markets and liberty “far right”?