This 64th day of the presidency of Donald Trump was not a good day for the President nor for Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan. The two top Republicans in the nation saw their first major piece of legislation never make it to the floor of the House for a vote.
The American Health Care Act, which aimed to fulfill a campaign promise of Republicans since 2010, or repealing the Affordable Care Act was swept into the corner like unwelcome dust.
This legislation was not one which I could support. As I noted in Kernels From the Cornfield on Wednesday:
With the House of Representatives set to vote on the American Health Care Act today or tonight, I have to say, like with the Affordable Care Act, I am not in favor of this new legislation to repeal the ACA.
This bill also is not beneficial to people like me and the American people in general, in my opinion.
However, the drama which played out this week gave light to a situation that could impede the ability of the President and the Congress to actually govern for the next two to four years.
The Freedom Caucus, made up of the ultra-conservative members of the GOP, many who were elected as a revolt to the ACA back in 2010, were elected to be the cabal of no to block Democratic President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress.
Their job was to be the voice of opposition to all things coming from the White House. Most of these members of the House have never been in a position to vote for legislation backed by a Republican in the White House.
Their mindset is to automatically be against anything proposed and backed by the Oval Office. This was on full display this week as members of the Freedom Caucus were brought in and out of the White House to cajole with the President and House leadership.
The ultra-conservatives demanded and received. Yet, it was never enough. There was always a new demand.
At last the President and Ryan said, “Enough. Let’s vote.”
Pushing only brought more opposition.
In the meantime while trying to coddle the ultra-conservatives, the Republicans were losing the moderates in states where the very control of the House hinged.
The moderates were feeling maligned about Medicaid and the loss of the Essential Health Benefits. Two items necessary for their re-election in 2018 and keeping the GOP in charge of the lower chamber of Congress.
The Freedom Caucus did not care. It was all or nothing and once they had it all, they wanted more. It is time to learn to govern.
Freedom Caucus, you are no longer the opposition, but the part of the party in power that must show the American people you understand that sometimes to get – you have to give.
It is called being a responsible government.
From the Cornfield, sadly I do not know if these 30-40 members of Congress will be able to wrap their heads around the concept.
Compromise is how you govern.
Saying only “No” makes you “Do Nothing.”