Congressional Republicans, on the precipice of repealing and replacing Obamacare, are facing a familiar and stubborn foe: themselves.
Infighting ensued immediately Tuesday as House and Senate Republicans dissected for the first time the American Health Care Act, the GOP vehicle for replacing former President Barack Obama’s signature law.
President Trump and Republican leaders made the case for the AHCA and warned conservative opponents not to stand in the way. Insurgent Republicans, deriding the bill as “Obamacare lite,” said they had the votes to block it and vowed to do so absent major changes.
The intraparty warfare was characteristic of congressional Republicans during the Obama years, and responsible for sinking some of the best deals the GOP could have hoped to achieve with so liberal a Democrat.
Now, once again, this time with a Republican in the White House, Republicans are threatening to stand in their own way and block themselves from an incremental policy victory and potentially major political win.
“We are divided. We have to admit, we are divided on replacement,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who opposes the administration/GOP leadership bill, told reporters during an afternoon news conference. “We are united on repeal but we are divided on replacement.”