White House looks past conservatives on tax reform - to Democrats

Analysts say he will have to work with the small but determined Freedom Caucus - or find a way to work around it, most likely by forging coalitions with Democrats, who for now seem little disposed to co-operate.

Earlier Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer suggested Trump might turn to members of the Democratic Party to overhaul Obamacare and the US president seconded that notion on Twitter Monday night.

WASHINGTON ― Unwilling to accept their failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, Republicans have skipped the fifth stage of grief and gone right back to denial, promising Tuesday to rewrite and pass their health care law while also moving ahead with other agenda items. "That's going to require some answers from the Freedom Caucus", said centrist Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa.

"Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do".

President Donald Trump is hoping to drive his priorities forward following the crumbling of the Republican health care bill but GOP finger-pointing is rampant, underscoring how tough it will be to produce the unity the party will need.

Mr Trump's fellow Republicans control both houses of Congress.

For the sitting Democratic representative in the other three districts - Florida 13, New Hampshire 2 and OR 4 - there could still be great political danger in supporting Trump, who is a remarkably divisive figure. "I think this could be a breaking point for the membership of the Freedom Caucus". Over the weekend, the president tweeted a promise of achieving a "great healthcare plan" because Obamacare will "explode". If not, Republicans will once again be forced to get their rank-and-file in line and try to pass a massive piece of legislation while dealing with its own internal divisions.

"I think this is a blatantly political bill, I think it's a result of some sore feelings over the recent presidential election and I think it's disgraceful that it's before us", said Rep. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott.

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"We're going to have to look at where a governing majority comes from".

Their comments came after another day of finger-pointing among Republicans, both subtle and not-so subtle.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pulled the bill Friday afternoon before a vote that would have failed.

Priebus said it was a "real shame" that conservative lawmakers decided not to get behind the healthcare bill.

(POE) Paul Ryan and the President were very accommodating. "There were no hearings, nobody outside of the group that worked on it was really consulted and that's a problem". GOP leaders in Congress and at the White House were trying to take steps to avoid stumbling into a shutdown. This attitude is risky, not only for his presidency, but for the country as a whole because it makes it that much harder to pass key legislation and work together to raise the debt limit, as well as avoid a government shutdown - something that could happen next month, as the federal government will run out of money on April 28. He also said that Trump gave his all on behalf of the bill. "We're willing to listen", Pelosi said. But if they can not or will not work with me, I will find another partner with whom to form coalitions to write the laws and enact the reforms America needs, because, in the last analysis, while party unity is desirable, the agenda I was elected to enact is critical.

Republican Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said on Sunday he was optimistic on tax reform and that his group could support a plan that is not revenue neutral.

Moreover, this defeat suggests that, given the ideological divide in the GOP, and the unanimous opposition of congressional Democrats, the most impressive GOP majorities since the 1920s may be impotent to enact any major complicated or complex legislation.

"This may finally provide an opportunity to do this in a better way", said G. William Hoagland, a former Senate Republican budget official who is now senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. The bill now heads to the House where it's unclear if it will be brought to the floor for a vote. That's a shift for a fiscal conservative concerned about deficits. Priebus spoke on "Fox News Sunday", and Schumer and Meadows appeared on ABC's "This Week".